Story Highlights• U.S. targets suspected al Qaeda operative in northern Somalia
• Six Islamist fighters -- including Briton and American -- killed, regional official says
• Sources: U.S. is hunting suspects behind 1998 Kenya and Tanzania bombings
From journalist Mohamed Amiin
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(CNN) -- Six Islamic militants -- including a British and American -- were killed in northern Somalia over the weekend during joint local and U.S. military attacks targeting militants, a regional official told reporters during a Sunday news conference.
The six killed include foreign nationals from the United States, Sweden, Eritrea, Britain, Yemen and Pakistan, according to Minister of Finance in the Puntland State of Somalia, Mohamed Ali Yusuf.
Their nationalities were confirmed by their passports, he said.
They were killed in a dual-phased operation Yusuf characterized as a success. It started with a ground offensive led by local forces and was followed by U.S. strikes.
There was no immediate word from the U.S. military on Sunday.
Sources told CNN on Friday that a U.S. Navy destroyer off the coast of northern Somalia fired on a suspected al Qaeda operative who was believed to have been involved in the 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
As of Sunday the U.S. military has not released an official announcement on the result of the attack, which was carried out using one of the destroyer's 5-inch guns.
U.S. officials have long suspected that some of those responsible for the embassy attacks have been hiding in the war-torn East African country.
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