At least five al-Shabaab fighters, including a senior commander, were killed in a suspected drone strike in southern Somalia Sunday afternoon, dpa reported.
"It is true that a suspected US drone has just attacked ... a convoy belonging to us," a senior al-Shabaab official, who wished to be unnamed, told dpa.
The attack took place outside the port city of Barawe about 110 miles from Mogadishu. Barawe is a key base for the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab.
Among those killed was Ahmed Sahal Amey, a senior Somali commander for al-Shabaab. Residents in the village of Walamooy, between Sablaale and Barawe, said they saw burning vehicles that were destroyed in the air strike.
"Furious armed al-Shabaab fighters arrived at the scene to collect the bodies of their killed colleagues," said one resident, who declined to provide a name.
The Somali government has yet to comment on the attack. It came as Somali military officials and African Union peacekeeping forces said they are working on military preparations to eliminate al-Shabaab from the areas of south and central Somalia.
Sources within al-Shabaab told dpa that Amey, also known as Isku-dhuuq, left the Diinsoor district and was heading to Barawe city to attend a meeting of senior al-Shabaab officials at the time of the drone attack.