U.S. cracks down on Somalia militants with strike on Shabab leader | W.J. HENNIGAN
A U.S. airstrike intended to kill the leader of Somalia’s Al Qaeda-affiliated Shabab group illustrated the Pentagon’s determination to take down militants responsible for a wave of bombings and suicide attacks throughout the Horn of Africa.
The Pentagon on Tuesday did not confirm whether the operation — which took place late Monday — killed Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, 37. But the special-forces strike against a militant encampment in the town of Barawe, south of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, was seen by U.S. officials as a setback for the Islamic militant group, which has struggled in recent years with leadership disputes, military defeats and questions about its direction.
"We are assessing the results right now," said Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby. "We certainly believe that we hit what we were aiming at."
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