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The U.S. military launched a strike against a senior al-Qaeda and al Shabaab leader in a remote area of Somalia, a Defense Department official said Sunday.

The official, who agreed to speak only on condition of not being identified by name, said the military currently is "assessing the effectiveness of the strike" against the target.

The official declined to discuss whether the strike was by drone, missile or other means. NBC News, also citing unnamed U.S. military officials, reported the strike was by missile.

The official told USA TODAY that it was "a coordinated operation'' involving multiple branches of service against a senior leader of the terror organizations in a remote area near Barawe, Somalia.

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