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US confirms killing Shebab intel chief in Somalia

Islamist fighters loyal to Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-inspired al-Shebab group perform military drills some 25 kilometres outside Mogadishu, Somalia, on February 17, 2011The US military on Wednesday confirmed killing the intelligence chief of Somalia’s Shebab militants in an air strike this week, saying it dealt a setback to the Al-Qaeda-linked group. Somalia’s government had already announced that the Shebab figure had been taken out in what it called a “joint” operation. “The Department of Defense has confirmed that Tahlil Abdishakur, chief of al-Shebab’s intelligence and security wing, was killed in an airstrike on December 29th,” the Pentagon said in a statement. Tahlil was in charge of Shebab’s external operations and the Pentagon said his death “will significantly impact” the group’s ability to conduct attacks against the Somali government, its people and US allies and interests in the region.

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