Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said the strike occurred sometime Saturday (US time) on a camp called Raso, about 195 kilometres north of Mogadishu.

"The fighters were there training and were training for a large-scale attack. We know they were going to be departing the camp and they posed an imminent threat to US and (African Union) forces," Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said.

Davis said the group had neared the completion of specialist training to conduct 'offensive operations,' but he did not give any details about the assault the fighters were allegedly planning.

The training camp had been under surveillance for some time ahead of the  drone strike. "There was a sense that the operational phase was about to happen," Davis said.

Al-Qaeda aligned Shebab jihadists have claimed responsiblity for a string of recent attacks including a twin bombing at a busy restaurant in the Somali city of Baidoa last month.

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