Tuesday 23 May 2017

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

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.

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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