Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Airstrike targets Somalia terrorist

A US airstrike in Somalia targeted a senior leader of the al-Shabab extremist group, the Pentagon said.

It did not identify the leader or say whether the strike was successful.

In a brief written statement, the Pentagon said the airstrike took place today in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia.

It provided no details, beyond saying it did not believe the attack caused any civilian or bystander casualties.

The Pentagon said it is assessing the results of the attack.

Al-Shabab is an ultra-conservative Islamic militant group that is linked to the al Qaida terrorist network and wants to run Somalia by its strict interpretation of Shariah law.

US airstrikes on September 1 killed al-Shabab's leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane. Shortly afterwards he was replaced as the group's leader by Ahmad Umar.

A senior US defence official said the strike did not Umar, who goes by several aliases.

Intelligence officials in Somalia say they know him as Sheikh Mahad Abdikarim, a militant who once governed Somalia's Bakool region on behalf of al-Shabab.

In 2012 the US offered a 3 million dollar (£1.93 million) reward for information leading to Umar's arrest. At the time he was reported to be al-Shabab's intelligence chief.


From Belfast Telegraph