Nairobi: The death of the leader of Somalia`s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab rebels in a US air strike is a "very strong probability" but still unconfirmed, security sources told AFP Wednesday.
"There is a very strong probability that he is dead... this requires verification on the ground, which is not simple," said a western security source, who asked not be identified.
The comment was echoed by a senior Somali security official.
"We believe that the Shebab leader is dead, though we don`t have his body. Most probably he is dead," said the official, who also spoke on condition he not be named.
He said he believed the Shebab were now "talking about a successor" to Ahmed Abdi Godane.
"But we are still assessing the situation," the official said.
A senior Somali security official also said Ahmed Abdi Godane was "most probably" killed in late Monday`s air strike.
Contacted by AFP, Shebab officials maintained their position of refusing to confirm or deny the reports.