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Somalia: US Rubs Out Al-Shabab Leader

THE US claimed yesterday it had killed a Islamist leader in the same region of Somalia where 12 Ugandan troops were attacked and killed on Sunday.

Ugandan troops are part of the peacekeeping African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), set up in 2007 following the 2006 US-Ethiopian invasion.

The US Africa Command said it carried out a drone missile attack on al-Shabab militants near Tortoroow in the southern Lower Shabelle region as “a direct response to al-Shabab actions, including recent attacks on Somali forces.”

An anonymous Somali intelligence official said that the attack targeted Ali Mohamed Hussein, the al-Qaida-linked group’s proclaimed “governor” of the capital Mogadishu.

He claimed at least one missile struck a car carrying Mr Hussein and one occupant was killed.

The Ugandan army said 12 of its soldiers were killed in al-Shabab’s ambush in Lower Shabelle on Sunday. The extremists claimed that they had killed 39 Ugandans.

Earlier that day a car bomb blast near a police station in Mogadishu killed at least five people and wounded at least 13. The blast, near Waberi police station on the busy Maka Almukarramah road, may have been a suicide bomber, a police spokesman said. Most of the victims were civilians.

Formerly the youth wing of the relatively moderate Islamic Courts Union, which rose to power in Somalia in early 2006, al-Shabab was radicalised by Ethiopia’s invasion in December 2006 but soon embraced transnational terrorism, identifying with al-Qaeda’s war against the West.

Hundreds of Amisom troops have been killed in its 10-year “peacekeeping” mission.


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