SOMALIA’S al-Qaeda-linked Shabab rebels have confirmed their leader Ahmed Abdi Godane has died in a US air strike, their first official comment on his fate since the attack.
“The Shabab leader has been killed by a US drone on Monday, alongside two other comrades,” the Shabab’s military spokesman, Abdulaziz Abu Musab, told AFP in a brief statement on Saturday.
The spokesman did not say if the group had appointed a new leader, but added a full statement would be released shortly.
Throughout the week the group have refused to confirm or deny reports of Godane’s death.
On Friday the Pentagon confirmed that Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of al-Qaeda’s main affiliate in Africa, was killed in an attack on Monday in which US drones and manned aircraft rained Hellfire missiles and laser-guided bombs on a gathering of Shabab commanders.
US officials did not specify how Godane’s death was confirmed, but in similar cases in the past, US intelligence agencies have tested DNA samples and used information gleaned from eavesdropping.