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Suspected drone attack in Somalia kills five al Shabaab fighters

A base of al Shabaab fighters has been targeted in a reported drone strike leaving five people dead. It is not known who carried out the strike but the United States has targeted the jihadists in the past.

Police and residents reported on Sunday what appeared to be a drone attack on Balad Amin, about 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) to the east of Wanlaweyn in the lower Shabelle region of Somalia.

"We heard three big crashes at an al Shabaab base in Balad Amin last night. It looked like a drone but we have no news of casualties," Adan Ahmed, a resident of the area, told the Reuters news agency.

Earlier in March, the U.S. Defense Department said that a drone strike in southern Somalia killed Adnan Garaar, an al Shabaab leader believed to be the architect of a 2013 attack on a Nairobi shopping mall that killed 67 people.

In April al Shabaab's attacked the Kenyan Garissa University College leaving 148 people dead.

In its bid to topple Somalia's Western-backed government, Al Shabaab fighters have staged multiple bomb and gun attacks in the capital Mogadishu. They have also hit targets in neighboring Kenya since Nairobi joined African Union peacekeeping forces in Somalia.

Al Shabaab were pushed out of Mogadishu by AU forces in 2011 but have continued attacks, often going after politicians and officials in Somalia, as well as AU and Somali forces.

Al Shabaab was unavailable for comment.

It was not known who was behind the aerial strike but the United States has in the past targeted al Shabaab fighters.

av/jm (Reuters, DPA)

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