CAIRO (Reuters) - A senior commander in al Shabaab, Somalia’s al Qaeda-affiliated Islamist rebels, was killed last month in a U.S. airstrike, the group said on Saturday in an online statement.
Somalia said at the time that its military and allied foreign troops had killed the man identified as Ali Moahmed Hussein or Ali Jabal, believed responsible for several bombings.
It did not disclose the nationality of the foreign troops, but American soldiers have in the past taken part in such raids.
“The cowardly American enemy planes tried to strike him. The first missed him and the second hit, making him a martyr,” said the al Qaeda statement circulated on social media.
Somalia said last month that Ali Jabal’s death would “reduce al Shabaab’s ability to conduct senseless acts of violence against the people of Somalia, its East African neighbors, and the international community.”
The insurgents have carried out frequent attacks in the capital Mogadishu as they bid to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government and drive out African Union peacekeeping troops.
Somalia has been at war since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other.
Reporting by Ali Abdelatty, Writing by Stephen Kalin; editing by Ralph Boulton