Pentagon confirms Ash-Shabab intelligence chief killed by US air strike
The US Department of Defense confirmed Wednesday that the Ash-Shabab intelligence chief was killed in a recent US air strike in Somalia, RIA Novosti reported.
"Pentagon officials confirmed today that a high-ranking member of the Ash-Shabab militant group in Somalia was killed in a Dec. 29 air strike," a statement posted on the department's website said.
The Pentagon said Tahlil Abdishakur was responsible for Ash-Shabab's intelligence and security wing.
According to the statement, Abdishakur's death will undermine Ash-Shabab's ability to conduct attacks against Somalia's government.
The first unconfirmed reports about Abdishakur's death in a US air strike came on Dec.29.
Ash-Shabab's former leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was also killed in a US air strike about three months ago. The United States has been supporting the African Union (AU) forces their fight against the militant group.
The al-Qaeda-linked militant group intends to overthrow the Somali government and has claimed responsibility for various attacks in Somalia and at the border towns of Kenya.
Last week, the Ash-Shabab attacked the AU military base in the capital Mogadishu, as a retaliation against the US air strike that killed the group's former leader.