Airstrike may have hit Somali Shabaab leader

2014-09-02 21:40
Al-Shabaab fighters march with their weapons during military exercises in Somalia. (Mohamed Sheikh Nor, AP/File)

Al-Shabaab fighters march with their weapons during military exercises in Somalia. (Mohamed Sheikh Nor, AP/File)

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Washington - The Pentagon is assessing whether an airstrike on an encampment in Somalia killed al Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, but if confirmed the militant's death would represent a "very significant" blow to the group, the Pentagon said on Tuesday.

Rear Admiral John Kirby told a Pentagon briefing that the US special operations strike conducted on Monday involved manned and unmanned aircraft. Kirby said Hellfire missiles and laser-guided munitions were dropped on the camp in south-central Somalia, but he said it was too soon to say what the results of the strike had been.

Since taking charge in 2008, Godane has restyled the group as a global player in the al-Qaeda franchise - a transformation that was highlighted when it killed at least 67 people in an attack on a Kenyan shopping mall last September.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  us  |  somalia  |  east africa

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