U.S. strike killed al Shabaab commander - Somali officials
A U.S. missile strike in southern Somalia has killed a senior al Shabaab commander who had masterminded suicide attacks by the al Qaeda-linked militant group.
This is disclosed by two Somali security officials to Reuters in Mogadishu on Monday.
Both intelligence sources and a Somali government Spokesman named the target as Ahmed Mohamed Amey, a chemicals expert also known as Isku Dhuuq.
A U.S. official said that the missile strike occurred in a remote area near Barawe, a coastal rebel enclave that was the site of a failed raid by American commandos in October targeting a militant known as Ikrima.
It was not clear if the missile was launched from a drone.
The security sources said that Amey was close to al Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane.
One of the officials, a former Islamist militant who defected in 2009, said that Amey advised Godane on the operations of al Shabaab's Amniyat `secret service', an elite unit blamed for suicide attacks in Mogadishu.
'He was a good friend of Godane and the two were always on good terms
'He was the adviser of al Shabaab leader Godane on matters regarding the Amniyat and masterminding suicide bomb attacks,'' said the intelligence official, who identified himself as Hussein.
A Somali government Spokesman described Amey as a 'top leader of al Shabaab'.
A spokesman for the U.S. embassy in Somalia, which is based in the Kenyan capital, could not be reached.
Both Somali intelligence officials said Amey was killed alongside his driver on Sunday. (Reuters/NAN)