U.S. Airstrike Kills Al Shabab Intelligence Chief Abdishakur, Somalia Says

A U.S. airstrike killed the intelligence chief of the Somali terror group Al Shabab, Somalia’s intelligence service said Tuesday.

Abdishakur is the name of the slain leader, who is also known as Tahlil, a statement from the spy agency said, adding the operation also killed two other Al Shabab militants.

The Pentagon said the airstrike took place Monday in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia. The statement from the Pentagon provided no details, beyond saying it did not believe the attack caused any civilian or bystander casualties.

A senior defence official said the strike did not target Ahmad Umar, who took over as the top leader of Al Shabab when its previous leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in Somalia on Sept. 1. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the attack by name

Al Shabab is an ultra-conservative Islamic militant group that is linked to the Al Qaeda terrorist network. It wants to run Somalia by its strict interpretation of sharia law.

African Union troops supporting Somalia’s weak army have pushed Al Shabab from major strongholds in 2011. However, Al Shabab fighters still carry out terror attacks in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and in neighbouring countries.

On Christmas Day, Al Shabab gunmen attacked the main African Union base in Mogadishu, which hosts UN offices and embassies.

Al Shabab leader Zakariya Ismail Hersi, who had a $3-million bounty on his head, surrendered to Somali authorities three days ago.

Source: The Star
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