US military says killed militant leader behind attack on base in Kenya

US troops board a transport plane in Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti January 5, 2020 on a mission to bolster the security of Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya. (US Air Force via Reuters)

A US airstrike over the weekend in Somalia killed an extremist militant who helped plan last month’s attack on a military base in Kenya in which three Americans died, the US military said on Tuesday.

The military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement the strike carried out on Saturday killed a senior member of the Somalia-based militant group al-Shabaab “who was in charge of planning and directing terrorist operations on the Kenya border region, including the recent attack on Manda Bay” and his wife.

The statement described the wife as a “witting and active” al-Shabaab member.

In the Jan. 5 attack, three Americans - one US military service member and two contractors - were killed during an attack by al-Shabaab on the Manda Bay military base in Kenya used by both US and Kenyan forces.

After that attack, the US military deployed additional forces to Kenya, which borders Somalia.

Africom carried out 63 air strikes in Somalia last year targeting al-Shabaab insurgents. It has carried out 18 this year so far.

Al-Shabaab, allied to al-Qaeda terrorist organization, has been fighting for more than a decade to overthrow the Somali government and impose strict Islamic law.

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Last Update: Wednesday, 20 May 2020 KSA 09:57 - GMT 06:57
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