WASHINGTON — Unspecified American military aircraft struck a terrorist nerve center in Somalia on Sunday, an operation believed to have killed eight al-Qaida loyalists who’ve staged repeated attacks on U.S. allies in the region.

The precision strike comes as U.S.-backed African forces subtly but steadily intensify their campaign against al-Shabaab, a ruthless terrorist organization U.S. officials characterize as determined to plot attacks within the United States and against American interests globally. In recent months, the U.S. military has increased its footprint and activity in Somalia, assigning a one-star general to direct operations there and augmenting its small counter-terror force with conventional troops focused on training those doing most of the fighting.


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