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Notorious Al Qaeda Operative the Target in U.S. Strike in Somalia

U.S. forces struck an Al Qaeda training camp in southern Somalia Monday, and officials say the target was a notorious Al Qaeda operative whom FOX News has exclusively determined to be Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan.

Nabhan is wanted for questioning in connection with a hotel resort homicide bombing in Mombasa, Kenya, five years ago, and for a shoulder-fired missile attack on an Israeli passenger liner.

Monday's attack on Nabhan was executed with two missiles fired from a U.S. Navy vessel at sea, off the coast of Somalia, FOX News has learned.

Planes fired at least one precision-guided missile at the Somali town of Dobley, a senior U.S. defense official told FOX News.

"On March 2 the U.S. conducted an attack against a known Al Qaeda terrorist in southern Somalia," Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said in a statement. "As we have repeatedly said, we will continue to pursue terrorists' activities and their operations wherever we may find them."

There was no immediate word on casualties, but the residents and police told The Associated Press that a home was destroyed and eight people, including four children, were injured.

U.S. officials at Central Command said the overnight strike targeted fewer than 20 Al Qaeda terrorists.

They were assessing the damage done by the attack and digging through the rubble on Monday, and said they'd know more about its success later in the day.

The missiles that struck Dobley, some four miles from the Kenyan border, were from military aircraft. Remnants of an Islamic force that had once ruled much of southern Somalia took over Dobley last week.

Last year, the U.S. shelled suspected Al Qaeda targets in Somalia, one of the most lawless and violent countries in the world.

A police officer who gave only his first name, Siyad, because he was not authorized to speak to the media said the eight wounded were hit by shrapnel. He also said the planes were military aircraft.

An aid worker in Dobley said up to six people were still trapped in the rubble at midday. It was not clear if these victims were included in the police officer's tally.

"A minimum of two bombs were dropped," the aid worker, who asked that his name not be used because he is not authorized to speak to the media, told the AP by telephone. "Between four and six people are in the rubble."

Clan elder Ahmed Nur Dalab said a senior Islamic official, Hassan Turki, was in town Sunday to mediate between his fighters and a militia loyal to the government. Turki's forces took over Dobley last week.

In early 2007, Somali troops and their Ethiopian allies drove out a radical Islamic group to which Turki is allied that had taken over much of southern Somalia. The Islamic forces have fought to regain power.

Somalia has been mired in chaos since 1991, when warlords overthrew dictator Mohamed Siad Barre and then turned on each other.

FOX Pentagon correspondent Jennifer Griffin and The Associated Press contributed to this report.