Washington: The US Friday confirmed that Al Shabaab militant group leader Ahmed Godane has been killed in a US air strike in Somalia undertaken over the weekend, a statement said.
Godane`s removal is a major symbolic and operational loss to the largest Al Qaeda affiliate in Africa and reflects years of painstaking work by US intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals, the statement released by the White House press secretary officesaid, reported Xinhua.
Even as this is an important step forward in the fight against Al Shabaab, the US will continue to use the tools of financial, diplomatic, intelligence and military to address the threat that Al Shabaab and other terrorist groups pose to the US and its people, the statement said.
"The US will also continue to support our international partners, particularly the African Union Mission in Somalia, that are working to support the federal government of Somalia build a secure and stable future for the Somali people."
The US Department of State named Al Shabaab a foreign terrorist organisation under Section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (as amended) Feb 26, 2008, and a specially designated global terrorist entity under Executive Order 13224 issued Feb 29, 2008.
In September 2013, Godane publicly claimed Al Shabaab was responsible for the Westgate Mall attack, which killed and injured more than 270 people in Nairobi.
Godane has also continued to oversee plots targeting Westerners, including US people, in east Africa. In recent months, Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing in Djibouti that killed a Turkish national and wounded several Western soldiers as well as a car bomb at the
Mogadishu airport that targeted and killed members of a UN convoy.