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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The United States on Monday used precision missiles to strike a "known terrorist target" in southern Somalia, a U.S. military official said.
The strike near Dhoobley, which is close to the Kenyan border, was aimed at a "facility where there were known terrorists" affiliated with East African al Qaeda operations, according to the official.
The strike destroyed two houses -- killing three women and three children, and wounding another 20 people -- Dhoobley's District Commissioner Ali Nur Ali Dherre told CNN. Dherre said the remains of the missiles were marked "US K."
The U.S. military official said the United States is still collecting post-strike information and is not yet able to confirm any casualties.
He described Monday's strike as "very deliberate" and said forces tried to use caution to avoid hitting civilians.
Villagers have fled in fear of another strike, Dherre said.
"We woke up with a loud and big bang and when we came out we found our neighbor's house completely obliterated as if no house existed here," Fatuma Abdullahi, a resident of the town, told The Associated Press. "We are taking shelter under trees. Three planes were flying over our heads."
Clan elder Ahmed Nur Dalab told AP that 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 Dhoobley last week, AP reported.
Dherre told CNN he did not know of any Islamist extremists in the village.
The United States conducted similar strikes in southern Somalia in January 2007 against al Qaeda targets, hoping to kill some of the militants suspected in the 1998 attacks against the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
U.S. officials later confirmed they did not believe they achieved that goal.