Thursday 20 October 2016

Airstrike kills the head of intelligence of Somali-based extremist group al-Shabab

Published 18/02/2016 | 13:16

Al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area of Somalia (AP)
Al-Shabab fighters perform military exercises in the Lafofe area of Somalia (AP)

An airstrike has killed the head of intelligence of al-Shabab, a Somali-based extremist group which is believed to have been among those who planned attacks on Kenyans.

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Kenyan military spokesman Colonel David Obonyo said on Thursday that Mahad Karate, also known as Abdirahim Mohamed Warsame, died along with 10 middle-level al-Shabab members in an airstrike 10 days ago in Nadris camp in the south of Somalia.

The US State department in April designated Karate a terrorist, saying he played a key role in the Amniyat, the wing of al-Shabab responsible for the April attack on Garissa University College in Kenya that resulted in nearly 150 deaths.

Al-Shabab wants to topple Somalia's weak government and has launched extremist attacks on neighbouring countries that have sent peace-keeping troops to back Somalia's government.

Karate had gone to the camp to preside over a graduation ceremony for an estimated 80 recruits into the Amniyat wing of al-Shabab, Mr Obonyo said.

Mr Obonyo added that suicide bombers deployed from the Amniyat took part in last month's attack on the Kenyan army base in El Adde, Somalia - believed to be worst losses Kenyan forces have ever suffered in the battlefield.

Al-Shabab claims more than 100 soldiers died in the attack while Kenyan authorities have declined to release the official death toll.

Al-Shabab denied the claim of Karate's death, saying it was aimed at drawing attention from "significant losses" of Kenyan soldiers in a recent attack in Somalia.

"The claims by Kenyan government that it killed what they called the al-Shabab intelligence chief is a mere fabrication," the online al-Shabab radio Andulus said.

Press Association

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