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U.S. launches air strike against Somali terrorist group

WASHINGTON - The U.S. military has conducted an operation against al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked militant group in Somalia, the Pentagon confirmed Monday.

"U.S. military forces conducted an operation in Somalia today against the al-Shabaab network. We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

CBS News correspondent David Martin reports that the operation was an air strike and involved no boots on the ground.

The news comes a day after al-Shabaab militants set off a car bomb at a prison and intelligence center in Mogadishu in an attempt to free inmates, then began a gunfight with military forces there. Somali officials said 12 people, including all of the attackers, were killed in the battle.

Al-Shabaab militants were responsible for the attack at a Nairobi, Kenya shopping mall in 2013 that killed 68 people and injured 175. They are said to have staged lethal attacks across Somalia, including the capital of Mogadishu.

Al-Shabaab has been designated as a foreign terrorist group by U.S. authorities since 2008. Last month, Somalia's president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told Reuters that his government had launched a military push called Operation Indian Ocean to flush al-Shabaab out of the country after being significantly weakened in Mogadishu and other areas.

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