The leader of the al-Shabaab killed in air strike in Somalia
The leader of the al-Shabaab militia in Somalia, Adan Hashi Ayro, was killed in an overnight airstrike on his house, according to media reports Thursday.
A further eight people were killed in the bombardment of the house in the central Somali town of Dusamareb, witnesses told Britain's BBC news channel.
Residents said they saw US fighter planes, but there was no official confirmation from the US military that it carried out the attack, reported dpa.
US aircraft attacked Islamic rebels in the south of the country only a few weeks ago.
Ayro's house was hit by at least three rockets, Somali news agency Garowe Online reported.
Ayro, who was trained in Afghanistan by the radical Taliban movement, was one of the leaders of the insurgency against the interim Somali government and its Ethiopian allies.
The al-Shabaab militia is the armed wing of the Sharia Courts movement, which was ousted from power at the beginning of 2007 with Ethiopian assistance.
Since then, the Islamists have been waging a guerilla war against government troops.
The interim government has not been able to achieve stability in the Horn of Africa country that has been plagued by chaos and civil war since 1991.
In the past year, hundreds of thousands of people have fled the capital Mogadishu.
The International Red Cross said Wednesday that it was "extremely concerned" about the humanitarian situation in Somalia.