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Pentagon Says Drone Strike Killed Leader Of Militant Group Al-Shabab

The Pentagon says the co-founder of the al-Qaida affiliate in Somalia was killed in a U.S. drone strike earlier this week.

In a statement on Friday, Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said:

"We have confirmed that Ahmed Godane, the co-founder of al-Shabaab, has been killed. The U.S. military undertook operations against Godane on Sept. 1, which led to his death. Removing Godane from the battlefield is a major symbolic and operational loss to al-Shabaab. The United States works in coordination with its friends, allies and partners to counter the regional and global threats posed by violent extremist organizations."

As we reported, the U.S. bombed a meeting of high-ranking al-Shabab officials in the port city of Barawe on Monday.

Godane had been the commander of al-Shabab. In a statement, the White House said al-Shabab has been responsible for a long line of terrorist attacks, including "twin suicide bombings in Kampala, Uganda, on July 11, 2010, which killed more than 70 people, including one American."

The drone strike, the White House said, "reflects years of painstaking work by our intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals."

As for background on al-Shabab, here's a brief primer that was written after the militant group took responsibility for an attack on a Kenyan mall that left dozens dead.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Eyder Peralta is NPR's East Africa correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya.