Shabaab leader killed in air strike

2014-12-30 22:18
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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Mogadishu - A leader of the Somali militant group al-Shabaab was killed by a US air strike in Somalia, US and Somali officials said on Tuesday.

The victim, identified as Abdishakur and also known as Tahliil, was the head of Amniyat, a unit believed responsible for suicide attacks in Mogadishu, Somalia's National Intelligence and Security Agency said in a statement.

The US Defence Department said on Monday it launched an air strike in Somalia that targeted a senior al-Shabaab leader.

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Abdishakur was killed in the attack along with another al-Shabaab militant, who was not identified. There were no civilian casualties in the attack, the official said.

The strike was the latest in a recent campaign against al-Shabaab. In September, a US drone strike killed the group's main leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane.

On Saturday, Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi, an al-Shabaab leader with a $3m bounty on his head, surrendered, according to a Somali government source and local media.

The al-Qaeda-aligned al-Shabaab is seeking to topple the Western-backed Mogadishu government and impose its own strict version of Islamic law in the country. A spokesperson for the group could not be reached for comment.

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

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