An official from the autonomous Somali region of Puntland says its forces launched an aerial attack targeting a pirate leader in Somalia.

The official said Wednesday that forces in a helicopter fired on a house in the village of Bali Dhidid where the pirate was believed to be, possibly wounding him. The official asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

The official said three vehicles were destroyed by the bombardment but the pirate boss identified as Issa Yuluh managed to escape.

The attack comes a day after the Puntland's troops launched a raid on the pirate infested town of the Bargal.

Attacks by Somali pirates off the Somali coast have reduced sharply in the first quarter of this year following a concerted international effort to eradicate piracy.