MOGADISHU, Somalia A United States military strike hit a vehicle carrying senior members of an on Monday, killing at least two people including the group's top explosives expert, a militant and a government intelligence official said.
The strike was carried out by the U.S. military as opposed to the CIA, CBS News correspondent David Martin reports.
An al-Shabab member who gave his name as Abu Mohamed said one of those killed was al-Shabab's top explosives expert, known as Anta. He said a drone fired at the car in Somalia's Middle Juba region. It was not clear how Mohamed would know it was a drone strike, except that he said no attack helicopters were seen.
A Somali intelligence official in Mogadishu said the attack occurred as al-Shabab members went to intervene in a clan dispute. The official insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to share intelligence.
Earlier this month, United States Navy SEALsto take down a Kenyan al-Shabab member. The SEALs withdrew before capturing or killing their target. The target of that attack - Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulkadir, known as Ikrima - was identified as the lead planner of a plot by al-Shabab to attack Kenya's parliament building and the United Nations office in Nairobi in 2011 and 2012.
If a drone strike in southern Somalia is confirmed, it will add evidence of the increasing importance Western powers view the counterterrorism operations in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia. The East African nation has seen several military attacks - often reported as drone strikes - in recent years.
Al-Shabab militantsin Nairobi, in neighboring Kenya, on Sept. 21 with guns and grenades, killing at least 67 people. Al-Shabab promised more attacks on Kenyan soil unless Kenya withdraws its troops from Somalia.