US strike ‘targets al-Shabab chief’

al-Shabaab fighters perform military exercisesThe US military has carried out a missile strike in Somalia against a suspected militant leader with ties to al-Qaeda and al-Shabab.

Local residents told the BBC that an al-Shabab commander and four others were killed but US officials say this has not been confirmed.

The strike was aimed at a vehicle in a remote area of southern Somalia, near the coastal town of Barawe.

Al-Shabab is the main al-Qaeda-linked group in East Africa.

The Pentagon says the target was a senior leader in the two organisations.

‘Another blow’

Local residents told BBC Somalia correspondent Mohamed Mwalimu that al-Shabab commander Sahal Iskudhuq and the others had been killed as they were travelling in a convoy which was hit by a missile.

Al-Shabab fighters cordoned off the area after the attack, they added.

The group has not yet commented.

Iskudhuq was said to be close to al-Shabab leader Ahmed Godane, with a large number of fighters under his control, our correspondent says.

-BBC

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Nairobi Digest

Kenyan Journalist