Pentagon confirms death of al-Shabaab leader

The Defense Department is confirming that it killed the intelligence chief of Somali terror group al-Shabaab with a drone strike on Monday.

The senior leader, known as Abdishakur Tahlil, was killed in the vicinity of Saakow, Somalia, the Pentagon said in a statement on Wednesday.

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The strike was conducted using unmanned aircraft, the DOD said.

“Working from actionable intelligence, these forces successfully struck with several hellfire missiles a vehicle carrying Tahlil,” the Pentagon said.

The DOD said Tahlil was “responsible to al-Shabbab’s external operations” and that his death will “significantly impact” the group’s ability to carry out attacks at the Somali government and U.S. interests in the region.

The confirmation comes one day after Somalia’s intelligence agency said the airstrike had killed Tahlil.

Al-Shabaab is an ultra-conservative Islamic militant group affiliated with al Qaeda that aims to govern Somalia under strict Sharia law.