US strike in Somalia kills Shabaab 'senior leader': Pentagon
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An April 2 airstrike by US forces in Somalia killed a "senior leader" of the Al-Shabaab militant group, the US Defense Department said Tuesday.
The strike left three Shabaab militants dead, including Yusuf Jiis, a "foundational" leader of the jihadist organization, which has carried out deadly attacks against Somali government and public targets for years, the US Africa Command said in a statement.
Africa Command Commander General Stephen Townsend said Jiis was a "key leader" in Al-Shabaab. "He was violent, ruthless, and responsible for the loss of many innocent lives," Townsend said in a statement.
Africa Command said the strike took place near Bush Madina, 135 miles (217 kilometers) west of Mogadishu, and was carried out in coordination with the Somali government. It was one of several recent strikes on the group, often precision missiles launched by drones.
Another strike against Al-Shabaab was carried out on Monday in the Jilib area of Somalia, which US forces said killed five jihadists. Africa Command said it was investigating reports of civilian deaths and injuries although it expressed confidence that there weren't any.
Townsend said there would be no letup in the US campaign against Al-Shabaab during the coronavirus pandemic. "Somalia remains key to the security environment in East Africa, and its long-term stability is important to advancing comprehensive US interests in the region," Africa Command said.