A senior commander in al Shabaab, Somalia’s al Qaeda-affiliated rebels, was killed last month in a US airstrike, the group said on Saturday in an online statement.
Somalia said at the time that its military and allied foreign troops had killed the man identified as Ali Mohamed Hussein or Ali Jabal, believed responsible for several bombings.
It did not disclose the nationality of the foreign troops but American soldiers have in the past taken part in such raids.
“The cowardly American enemy planes tried to strike him. The first missed him and the second hit, making him a martyr,” said the al Qaeda statement circulated on social media.
Somalia said last month that Jabal’s death would “reduce al Shabaab’s ability to conduct senseless acts of violence against the people of Somalia, its East African neighbours, and the international community.”
The insurgents have carried out frequent attacks in the capital Mogadishu as they bid to topple Somalia’s Western-backed government and drive out African Union peacekeeping troops.
Somalia has been at war since 1991, when clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre and then turned on each other.
On Friday, Somali forces supported by US troops shot dead 10 Somalis, including three children, in a village near the capital Mogadishu.
The involvement of US troops was confirmed by US Africa Command, which said it was investigating reports of civilian casualties.
– Somalia Focus –