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Thursday, January 11, 2007

Three top al Qaeda suspects survive U.S. strike

NAIROBI, Jan 11 (Reuters) - A U.S. air strike on Somalia three days ago killed up to 10 al Qaeda-affiliated "terrorists", but three of the most wanted suspects survived, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

"We are still in pursuit (of the three). We and the Ethiopians and everyone else wants to interdict terrorists," said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The United States on Monday hit a village in south Somalia in an attempt to take out an al Qaeda cell accused of bombing two U.S. embassies in 1998 and an Israeli-owned hotel in 2002.

The U.S. official said between eight to 10 "al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists" were killed in Monday's attack.

"There were a number of terrorist targets that were killed in that operation," he added.

"It was directed at significant al Qaeda individuals."

Previous unconfirmed media reports suggested one of Washington's three most-wanted al Qaeda suspects -- Comorian Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Sudanese Abu Talha al-Sudani and Kenyan Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan were killed.
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