Somalia strike hits 'Shebab' car

An air strike targeting Al Shebab on Monday hit a car believed to be carrying senior members of the Al-Qaeda-linked group in southern Somalia, witnesses said.

"We are getting that a missile struck one of the Al-Shebab vehicles near Jilib," south of the capital Mogadishu, local resident Abdi Moalim told AFP by telephone.

"Some people who stayed near the area told us it was an aerial bombardment targeting a vehicle,"he said adding that the car was carrying "at least three" people.

Another resident who spoke on condition of anonymity said he heard an explosion and the sound of a plane overhead.

"We don't know who was killed but I can confirm that there was an attack, aircraft sounded over the sky and a few minutes later a heavy explosion followed. No one can dare go to check what happened, Al-Shebab will kill you," he said.

No one from Al-Shebab could immediately be reached for comment.

A raid by US Navy Seals on the southern port of Barawe in early October failed to hit its alleged target, a senior Shebab militant leader and Kenyan of Somali origin called Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, also known as Ikrima.

That raid followed two weeks after an attack by Shebab gunmen on the upscale Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi that left 67 people dead during a four-day siege.

Kenya invaded southern Somalia to attack Shebab bases two years ago, and later joined the 17,700-strong African Union force deployed in the country.

The Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab warned Kenya after the Westgate assault that "rivers of blood" would flow if it does not pull its troops out of Somalia.