By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
May 1, 2008 - U.S. Central Command conducted a strike against a known al-Qaida target in Somalia yesterday, a Pentagon spokesman said today. The strike was near Dusa Mareb, north of the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
U.S. officials would not confirm news reports that the strike killed Aden Hashi Ayro, the head of al-Qaida in Somalia, nor the means used in the strike.
"When you have something like this, there is a certain amount of analysis that goes on," said Bryan Whitman, a Pentagon spokesman. "While you are conducting that analysis, you want to be careful not to provide any information that potentially could be of use to the enemy."
Whitman said the strike is an example of U.S. policy in the war on terror.
"We will pursue terrorists worldwide," he said. "The U.S. is committed to identifying, locating, capturing and, if necessary, killing terrorists wherever they operate, train, plan their operations, or seek safe havens."
News reports said the strike killed eight people. U.S. officials have no information that substantiates any civilians being killed or injured. As a general rule, U.S. planners seek to minimize any affect of such strikes in civilians, a U.S. Central Command official said, noting that in many cases, planners abort a strike rather than endanger civilians.