Mogadishu - A leader of the Somali militant group al Shabaab was killed by a U.S. air strike in Somalia, U.S. and Somali officials said on Tuesday.
The victim, identified as Abdishakur and also known as Tahliil, was the head of Amniyat, a unit blamed for suicide attacks in Mogadishu, Somalia's National Intelligence and Security Agency said in a statement.
The U.S. Defense Department said on Monday it had launched an air strike in Somalia that targeted a senior al Shabaab leader.
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Two U.S. officials familiar with the matter confirmed that Abdishakur was the target of the U.S. air strike, and one said Abdishakur was killed in the attack.
The al-Qaeda-aligned Al Shabaab is seeking to topple the Western-backed Mogadishu government and impose its own strict version of Islamic law in the country. A spokesman for the group could not be reached for comment. (Additional reporting by David Alexander and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Editing by Edith Honan, Larry King)