Several people, possibly civilians, were left wounded as US airstrikes hit four towns near Ras Kamboni, including a terrorist training camp on Badmadow island, local and international media reported. Sources added that up to ten al Qaeda members were also killed. The strikes came just two days after the US-launched AC-130 attack in Ras Kamboni, Jubaland.
US officials denied to the Los Angeles Times that both actions were the work of US forces and blamed Ethiopian air attacks, although this is contradicted by a January 12 2007 US secret cable obtained by WikiLeaks, which refers to a “US military … strike Jan. 9 against members of the East Africa Al Qaeda cell believed to be on the run in a remote area of Somalia near the Kenyan border.”
A US intelligence official, speaking anonymously, told AP that five to ten people targeted by the strike were believed to be associated with Al Qaeda. The US military’s main target on the island was thought to include the senior al Qaeda leader in East Africa and an al Qaeda operative wanted for his involvement in the 1998 bombings of two American embassies in Africa, according to CBS.
Although reports suggested he had been killed, he was also the target of SOM001 and SOM005. The official said a small number of others present, perhaps four or five and posssibly civilians, were wounded. Somalia Transitional Government spokesperson Abdirahman Dinari said it was not known how many people were killed, ‘but we understand there were a lot of casualties. Most were Islamic fighters.’
The local time of the incident is unknown.
Sources (4) [ collapse]
Geolocation notes (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the raid targeted four towns in an area close to Ras Kambooni: Hayo/Xayo (0.43428, 41.814461), Garer (location unknown), Bankajirow (location unknown) and Badmadowe (-1.262261, 41.815402). Generic coordinates for this area are: -0.491496, 41.699897. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
US Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
LA Times, January 12th, 2007:
"None of the three most-wanted Al Qaeda suspects believed to be hiding in southern Somalia were killed by a U.S. airstrike this week, a senior U.S. official here said Thursday.
"The three high-value targets are still of intense interest to us," said the official, who requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the record."