Al-Shabaab leader behind Manda Bay attack killed in AFRICOM airstrike

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AL SHABAAB militants launch a 4 am attack on the US-Kenya military base in Manda Bay, Lamu. Heavy fire exchange ongoing.PHOTO/DAILY NATION-TWITTER
AL Shabaab militants launch a 4 am attack on the US-Kenya military base in Manda Bay, Lamu. Heavy fire exchange ongoing.PHOTO/DAILY NATION-TWITTER

A U.S airstrike over the weekend in Somalia killed a senior Al-Shabaab leader who plotted the attack on Manda Bay base in Lamu, Kenya last month that killed three Americans.

The airstrike which was conducted in coordination with the Somalia government reportedly hit Saakow, which is about 320 km west of Mogadishu.

The US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement that the militant was killed alongside his wife. The militant, whose name was not released, as well as his wife, were both known Al-Shabaab members.

“Since Jan. 5, U.S. Africa Command and our partners have pursued those responsible for the attack on U.S. and Kenyan forces at Manda Bay,” AFRICOM commander Army Gen. Stephen Townsend said in a statement Tuesday.

The statement also said the senior leader’s wife was a witting and active member of the militia group and was responsible for facilitating a wide range of terrorist activities.

Gen. Townsend was quoted saying the airstrike was a peak point of the army’s efforts to pursue perpetrators of the January 5 attack.

“This strike demonstrates that we will continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible for Manda Bay and those wishing to do harm to Americans and our African partners,” Townsend said.

The US military deployed more forces to Kenya’s border with Somalia since the attack.

AFRICOM has carried out 18 airstrikes this year.

Al-Shabaab is considered to be Al Qaeda’s largest affiliate, commanding some 5,000 fighters according to US military assessments.

The Al-Qaeda linked group has been fighting for more than a decade to overthrow the Somali government and impose strict Islamic law.

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