Nairobi - Kenya's army said Thursday it had killed the
intelligence chief of the Shebab insurgents and 10 other commanders in
an air strike in Somalia.
The US government had placed a $5
million bounty on the head of spy chief Mahad Karate, with Kenya
celebrating what they called a "major blow" to the Islamist force.
troops, part of an African Union force in Somalia (AMISOM) fighting the
Islamist insurgents, claimed to have killed Karate, a top commander
also responsible for internal security, in an air strike at a Shebab
training camp earlier this month.
"The killing... is a major blow to the terrorist group," the Kenyan army statement read.
-- head of the Shebab's Amniyat unit, a special security wing
responsible for intelligence, attacks and assassinations -- is said to
have been involved in plotting the 2015 massacre of 148 people at
Garissa university in north-east Kenya.
"The Kenya Defence Forces,
under AMISOM operations, would like to confirm that Mahad Mohammed
Karate... and 10 other middle level commanders were killed in a major
KDF strike," in southern Somalia on February 8, the statement read.
The claims could not be independently verified, and there was no immediate reaction from the Shebab.
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was at a Shebab training camp to "preside over the passing out of an
estimated 80 Amniyat recruits who had completed their training, and were
due for deployment to carry out more terrorist attacks," the Kenyan
"It is confirmed that 42 recruits were also killed while many others sustained injuries."
Karate was placed on the US State Department's wanted terrorist list in April 2015 after the Garissa attack.
also known as Abdirahman Mohamed Warsame, played a key role in the
Amniyat, the wing of the Shebab responsible for assassinations and the
April 2, 2015 attack on Garissa University College," the US Rewards for
Justice wanted notice reads.
"The Shebab's intelligence wing is
involved in the execution of suicide attacks and assassinations in
Somalia, Kenya and other countries in the region, and provides logistics
and support for Shebab terrorist operations throughout the Horn of
Karate was also the deputy of former leader Ahmed Godane, killed in a US drone strike in September 2014.