Somali officials say several al-Shabab militants killed in airstrike

Several senior officials with the al-Shabab extremist group have been killed or wounded in an airstrike in southern Somalia, Somali intelligence officials said Wednesday.

It isn’t clear who carried out the strike. The U.S. Africa Command, which has carried out more than 20 airstrikes in Somalia this year, said it has not carried out a strike there since September 11.

Intelligence officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media said the overnight airstrike hit a training school and nearby hospital in Sakow, a town in Middle Jubba region. They said those targeted include longtime al-Shabab commander, Hassan Yaqub.

Al-Shabab said three children were killed in this latest airstrike. That has not yet been verified by independent media. However a town elder who also spoke on condition of anonymity told reporters that several young al-Shabab recruits were dead and the training school run by the extremists was largely destroyed.

Al-Shabab, which is fighting both Somalia’s fragile government and an African Union force, has been accused of indoctrinating and training youth as fighters. The group continues to control parts of southern and central Somalia and carries out bombings against high-profile targets in the capital, Mogadishu.