Somalia’s al-Shabaab militants have come under renewed pressure from the US and Somalia, as military leaders announced an airstrike and special forces raid that are presumed to have killed two major militant leaders.
News of the two operations coincided with another brutal terror attack in the capital of Mogadishu, where al-Shabaab gunmen killed at least 10 people at the Ambassador hotel.
The airstrike on 27 May targeted Abdullahi Haji Da’ud, “a senior military commander” for the al-Qaida-linked group, the Pentagon press secretary, Peter Cook, said in a statement on Wednesday. Da’ud was “principal coordinator” and intelligence chief for attacks in Somalia, Kenya and Uganda, Cook said. Cook added that the militant was “responsible for the loss of many innocent lives through attacks he has planned and carried out”.
“We are confident that the removal from the terrorist network of this experienced al-Shabaab commander,” Cook said, “will disrupt near-term attack planning, potentially saving many innocent lives.”