U.S. Goes After Al-Shabaab Leader In Recent Airstrike

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Written by Makula Dunbar

Written by Abdi Sheikh | From Reuters

An air strike in Somalia by U.S. armed forces targeted the leader of the Islamist militant group al Shabaab, Ahmed Abdi Godane, Somali and U.S. officials said on Tuesday, but they said it was unclear whether he was killed in the attack.

“We don’t know that he’s dead. But he was the target,” one U.S. official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Other U.S. officials said they believed Godane was killed in the strike late on Monday against a location where senior members of the al Qaeda-linked group were meeting, but the U.S. government has not confirmed this yet or given further details.

If Godane were killed, it would be a major victory against the al Shabaab militants fighting the Western-backed government of Somalia, which is also supported by African Union troops.

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 in September last year.

The militants have also carried out guerrilla attacks in parts of the Somali capital Mogadishu, as well as in neighbouring Kenya and Uganda.

Godane’s close associate, Ahmed Mohamed Amey, was killed by a U.S. air strike in January.

Read more at Reuters