US launches Somalia attack 'against terrorist'

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The US launched a military air strike in Somalia to go after a group of terrorist suspects, defence officials said today.

"It was a deliberate, precise strike against a known terrorist and his associates," one US military official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to comment on the record.

He gave few other details, except to say the targets were believed staying in building known to be used regularly by terrorist suspects.

Somali police said three missiles hit a Somali town held by Islamic extremists, destroying a home and seriously injuring eight people early today.

The strike follows one last year in which the US shelled suspected al-Qa'ida targets in Somalia, using gunfire from a US Navy ship off the shore of the East African nation.