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Somali militants launch attack on peacekeeper base

Somali Islamist militant group al Shabaab attacked the main African Union (AU) peacekeeping base in the capital Mogadishu on Thursday, the group's military spokesman said.

A Reuters photographer near the base said sporadic gunfire could be heard from inside the compound. African Union officials could not be reached for comment.

"Our fighters have entered AU's Halane base by force through the gate and now fighting is going on inside the base," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operation spokesman, told Reuters.

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Obama vows to 'degrade and defeat IS militants'

One of the major issue discussed at the NATO meeting was the threat from Islamic State. President Obama vowed to 'degrade and ultimately defeat the militants'. His comments came as the Pentagon confirmed it had killed the leader of the Al Qaeda group - Al Shabaab - in a drone strike in Somalia.

ITV News Washington correspondent Robert Moore reports on the President's pledge to deal with the Islamic militants.

Al-Shabaab leader's death 'a step toward peace'

The British Foreign Office says the death of Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane may have "seriously reduced" the group's capabilites and taken Somalia a step closer to peace.

His death means there is more of an opportunity to build enduring peace and stability in Somalia and to work with the people of the region who want nothing more than an end to fighting and bloodshed.

Experts have suggested there is no obvious successor to Godane as al-Shabab leader, raising the prospect that the group's capabilities could be seriously reduced.

– Foreign Office spokeswoman

Ahmed Godane death 'confirmed through intercepts'

The death of Ahmed Godane was confirmed through "intercepts" of communications among al-Shabab leaders, US officials have told NBC News.

There were no US or Somali forces on the ground following the attack, according to the officials cited by the news network.

It also said no DNA was recovered from the lone vehicle that was destroyed by hellfire missiles, which killed Godane, along with a top aide and the driver.

The attack came on a remote road about 120km southwest of Mogadishu when the three stopped at the side of the road.

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