The US military carried out a drone strike over the weekend targeting a training camp run by Somali Islamist group al Shabaab killing more than 150 fighters, the Pentagon has said. 

"It was a successful strike," said Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis, adding US intelligence indicated the group was preparing for a "large scale attack" and posed a threat to US and African Union forces in Somalia.

"The fighters were there training and were training for a large-scale attack. We know they were going to be departing the camp."

Mr Davis said the strike occurred sometime Saturday on a camp about 195km north of the capital Mogadishu.

The al-Qaeda-linked al Shabaab was pushed out of Mogadishu by African Union peacekeeping forces in 2011 but has remained a potent antagonist in Somalia, launching frequent attacks in its bid to overthrow the Western-backed government.

Elsewhere, two Somali soldiers and an African Union peacekeeper were wounded when Islamist militants detonated a bomb outside an airport in the south central town of Beledweyne, the group and a local military source said today.
              
The bomb was hidden in a "paper bag", an official said.
              
It is not clear if the bomb was intended to be smuggled on a plane.

Last month a plane was forced to make an emergencylanding after a bomb smuggled aboard at Mogadishu International Airport exploded mid-air. A suspected suicide bomber was killed and two people were wounded during the incident.