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US Airstrike in Somalia Kills Al-Shabab Intelligence Chief

  • VOA News

FILE - Newly elected Somalia Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, right, flanked by Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, addresses delegates in Mogadishu, Dec. 17, 2014.

FILE - Newly elected Somalia Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke, right, flanked by Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, addresses delegates in Mogadishu, Dec. 17, 2014.

The Somali government says al-Shabab's intelligence chief was killed in a U.S. airstrike near the town of Saakow.

Timeline: US Airstrikes in Somalia

May 1, 2008: Former military leader of Aden Hashi Ayrow killed in Dhusamareb.

Sept. 14, 2009: Saleh Ali Nabhan, al-Qaida leader, suspected in 1998 US East Africa Embassy bombing, killed

Jan. 22, 2012: Drone strike kills British al-Qaida member Bilal Berjawi near Mogadishu

Feb. 24, 2012: Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Uhud, a Moroccan jihadi with al-Shabab, killed by drone strike near Afgoye

Oct. 28, 2013: Al-Shabab bomb maker Ibrahim Ali Abdi “Anta Anta” killed by drone strike near Jilib

Jan. 26, 2014: Drone strike kills Ahmed Abdulkadir Iskudhuuq, a senior Adviser to al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane

Sept. 1, 2014: Airstrikes kill Al-Shabab Emir Ahmed Abdi Godane near Sablale

Dec. 29, 2014: Drone strike kills Abdishakur Tahlil al-Shabab’s intelligence chief and head of Amniyat units

A statement issued Tuesday by Somalia's National Intelligence and Security Agency said Abdishakur Tahlil and two others were killed in Monday's strike. It said he was traveling between Saakow and the village of Jawari when his vehicle was destroyed.

At the Pentagon, a spokesman confirmed that Tahlil was the target of the U.S. airstrike, but he would not confirm whether the attempt was successful. There were thought to be no civilian casualties.

In September, another U.S. airstrike in Somalia killed al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane.

The al-Qaida affiliated al-Shabab is trying to overthrow the Somali government and turn the country into a conservative Islamic state. Somali and African Union troops have had success in beating back the militants over the past year.

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