News / Africa

    Pentagon: Attack Targeted Al-Shabab Leader

    Pentagon: Attack Targeted Al-Shabab Leaderi
    X
    Carla Babb
    September 02, 2014 11:54 PM
    U.S. defense officials confirm reports that leader of the terrorist group al-Shabab was the target of recent attack in Somalia. Carla Babb has more.
    VIDEO: U.S. defense officials confirm reports that leader of the terrorist group al-Shabab was the target of recent attack in Somalia. Carla Babb has more.
    VOA News

    U.S. defense officials have confirmed that the leader of the terrorist group al-Shabab, Ahmed Abdi al-Mohammad, also known as Ahmed Godane, was the target of a recent U.S. drone attack in Somalia.

    Somali officials said Monday's attack targeted senior al-Shabab leaders meeting in the Lower Shabelle region in southern Somalia.

    Lower Shabelle, Shabelle and Bay regions of SomaliaLower Shabelle, Shabelle and Bay regions of Somalia
    x
    Lower Shabelle, Shabelle and Bay regions of Somalia
    Lower Shabelle, Shabelle and Bay regions of Somalia

    On Tuesday, Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said U.S. forces destroyed an encampment and vehicle north of the port city of Barawe with hellfire missiles and laser-guided munitions.

    “This operation was a direct strike against the al-Shabab network, specifically the group’s leader,” said Kirby, who would not answer questions on casualties because the military is still assessing the mission's "effectiveness."

    "We are assessing the results of the operation and will provide additional information as and when appropriate," Kirby had told reporters on Monday, when he also said Godane's death, if confirmed, would represent a "very significant blow to their network, to their organization, and, we believe, to their ability to continue to conduct terrorist attacks."

    The rebels reported that several people were killed in the attack but would not say if Godane was among the casualties.

    Godane, 37, is listed by the U.S. State Department as one of the world's top terror fugitives.

    Witness to airstrike

    Witnesses said the drone targeted three vehicles traveling on a road, two of which were hit by multiple missiles, while the third may have escaped.

    Lower Shabelle's governor, Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur, told VOA's Somali Service that the airstrike occurred between the towns of Haawaay and Sabale, about 70 kilometers north of Barawe, an al-Shabab stronghold.

    Nur, who was traveling in the area with African Union troops, said he saw lights followed by a "ground-shaking explosion."

    Sources in the area say al-Shabab sealed off the vicinity soon after the attack.

    U.S. drone strikes have targeted al-Shabab officials in the past, including one in January that nearly hit Godane.

    The United States has offered up to $7 million for information leading to the capture of Godane, who has led al-Shabab since 2007.

    The group once controlled large portions of central and southern Somalia, and enforced a strict form of Islamic law, including a ban on music and chopping off the hands of alleged thieves.

    Responsible for violence

    Al-Shabab has also claimed responsibility for attacks in neighboring countries, including bomb blasts that killed more than 70 people in Uganda's capital in 2010, and the 2013 assault on a Nairobi shopping mall that left more than 60 people dead.

    The al-Qaida-linked militant group has lost territory to African Union and Somali government forces during the past four years, but it remains a threat to Somalia's stability.

    The group's fighters have killed six members of Somalia's parliament this year and carried out two major assaults on the presidential palace.

    The airstrike comes days after African Union troops and government forces launched "Operation Indian Ocean," a major offensive aimed at seizing key ports from the Islamist rebels and cutting off one of their key sources of revenue — multimillion-dollar exports of charcoal.

    VOA's Carla Babb contributed reporting from the Pentagon.

    You May Like

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Lawrence Bush from: Houston, USA
    September 02, 2014 2:10 PM
    God wills. Evils should be eliminated in this planet ensuing mankind safe co-existence.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora