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Militant leader killed in air raid

A US drone strike has killed an al Shabab leader linked to the 2013 Kenyan shopping centre massacre, which claimed the lives of six Britons, authorities have confirmed.

Adan Garar was killed in the strike on his vehicle in Diinsoor in southern Somalia on March 12, a Pentagon official said.

Garar was a "key operative" responsible for coordinating the Somali militant group's external operations which targeted Western citizens to "further al Qaida's goals and objectives", the official added.

A spokesman for the US Department of Defence said: "Garar posed a major threat to the region and the international community and was connected to the Westgate Mall attack that killed dozens of people in Nairobi, Kenya on September 13, 2013.

"His death has dealt another significant blow to the al Shabab terrorist organisation in Somalia."

Six Britons were among 67 people killed in the Kenyan shopping centre attack in 2013.

Al Shabab militants claimed responsibility for the assault and there was also speculation that British terrorist suspect Samantha Lewthwaite - who was married to the July 7 bomber Jermaine Lindsay - may have been connected.

One of the Britons killed, Mitul Shah, 38, a London-born father of one caught up in the siege, was hailed a hero for reportedly offering himself as a hostage to allow children to escape from militants.

The youngsters were taking part in a televised cooking competition sponsored by his company when the terrorists descended on the shopping centre.

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