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US confirms airstrike killed senior Al Qaeda operative in Somalia

Monday October 3, 2022

In this 2011 file photo, hundreds of newly trained al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area, about 18km south of Mogadishu [File: Farah Abdi Warsameh/AP Photo]

Mogadishu (HOL) - U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has confirmed a U.S. airstrike killed an al-Shabaab leader near Jilib, about 370 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu, on October 1.

“Al-Shabaab is the largest and most kinetically active al-Qaeda network in the world and has proved both its will and capability to attack U.S. forces and threaten U.S. security interests. U.S. Africa Command, alongside its partners, continues to take action to prevent this malicious terrorist group from planning and conducting attacks on civilians,” the command said in its statement on Monday.

While no specific name was mentioned, it comes as Somalia confirmed that al-Shabaab’s second in command, Abdullahi Nadir, was killed by a “joint operation with international partners” in the Shabaab-controlled area of Haramka on Saturday.

AFRICOM said it would provide additional information after assessing the results of the operation. It added that no civilians were injured or killed in the airstrike.

Last month, the United States military said it killed a total of 27 al-Shabab fighters in Somalia’s central Hiran region in separate airstrikes.

In a statement, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said it carried out an air strike against al-Shabab fighters who were attacking Somali military forces near the town of Buulobarde on September 18.


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