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Godane’s removal a 'symbolic and operational loss'

The White House said that the removal of the co-founder of al-Shabaab Ahmed Godane was a "major symbolic and operational loss to the al-Qaida affiliate".

Godane’s removal is a major symbolic and operational loss to the largest al-Qaida affiliate in Africa and reflects years of painstaking work by our intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals.

Even as this is an important step forward in the fight against al-Shabaab, the United States will continue to use the tools at our disposal – financial, diplomatic, intelligence and military –to address the threat that al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups pose to the United States and the American people.

– White House statement

Pentagon confirms Al-Shabaab co-founder killed in US air strike

The Pentagon has confirmed that the co-founder of Al-Shabaab Ahmed Godane was killed in a US air strike in Somalia.

Officials called it a "major symbolic and operational loss" for the al Qaeda-affiliated organisation.

"We have confirmed that Ahmed Godane, the co-founder of al-Shabaab, has been killed," Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement.

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Somali PM: Al Shabaab leader killed after US strike

The leader of an al-Qaeda-affiliated group in Somalia has been killed after a US missile strike, the Somali Prime Minister has said.

"We tell the Somalis that Godane is dead," Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said on his Facebook page, the first government confirmation of his death.

Ahmed Abdi Godane was the leader of Al Shabaab - an Islamist militant group that claimed responsibility for the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi last year.

The US announced this week that Godane was targetted in a missile attack launched by a drone in southern Somalia.

African leaders to set a special anti-terrorism fund

African countries could set up a special fund to combat Islamist militant groups, the continent leaders proposed on African Union Peace and Security summit in Nairobi.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta said African countries should stand together against the threat of Boko Haram and Al-Shabaab.

Al-Shabaab militants killed 67 people in a raid on a shopping mall in Kenya last September.

"No single state can tackle this threat alone," Mr Kenyatta said. "It is particularly worrying in Africa today that terrorist organizations have grown both in terms of number and capability."

The idea of a common African fund to combat terrorism was mooted by Mr Kenyatta and would be discussed at the next African Union summit.

Al-Shabaab leader targeted in US air strike in Somalia

A leader of Somalia's al Qaeda-linked militants Ahmed Abdi Godane was the target of an US air strike in Somalia, an US official said.

It is not clear whether the Al-Shabaab leader was hit in the strike, the official added.

Six militants were killed in the attack on two vehicles that were heading toward the coastal town of Barawe, Al-Shabab's main base.

Since taking charge in 2008, Godane has restyled the group as a global al Qaeda player - a transformation that was highlighted when it killed at least 67 people in an attack on a Kenyan shopping mall last September.

US air strike hits Al-Shabaab 'meeting area' in Somalia

An US airstrike hit an area where leaders of Somalia's al Qaeda-linked militants were meeting, intelligence sources told Reuters.

The strike prompted rumours among Somali government officials that it had targeted al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane and other leaders who were suspected to have been at the location, but there was no confirmation they were hit.

Somali government soldiers patrol in Mogadishu. Credit: Reuters

Since taking charge in 2008, Godane has restyled the group as a global al Qaeda player - a transformation that was highlighted when it killed at least 67 people in an attack on a Kenyan shopping mall in September.

The US Department of Defence said that its forces had carried out the operation against al-Shabaab and would provide more information "when appropriate".

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'Five suspected militants dead' in Somalia attack

Five suspected Islamist militants have been killed in an attack on the Somali presidential compound, the east African country's interior minister has said.

Al-Shabaab had earlier claimed to have had control of some areas of the compound, but the Somali authorities say the security forces are now in control of the area.

Somali security forces 're-take presidential palace'

Somali security forces have now re-taken control of the presidential palace after a raid by Al-Shabaab militants, the country's interior minister is reported as saying.

The minister added that president, Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, was not harmed in the raid as he was elsewhere at the time.

Somali presidential palace 'under attack by Al-Shabaab'

The Somali presidential palace is under attack by Al-Shabaab militants, a spokesman for the terror group said.

"The militants have partly entered the presidential palace compound. There is periodic gunfire now," an official in the presidential palace who asked not to be named told Reuters. "I understand most attackers have been killed. No further details."

Al Shabaab confirmed they were involved. In a statement they said: "We have entered the so-called presidential palace. We have now captured some parts of the palace and fighting is still going on."

Suicide car bomb kills 2 near Somali parliament building

Two soldiers are now confirmed to have died and a further four wounded after a car bomb exploded near a Somali parliament building hundreds of metres from the presidential compound, according to a government official.

Police said soldiers guarding the building prevented the bomb from reaching its target.

"The suicide car bomb was targeting the parliament entrance but it was fired on from all sides as it approached the main gate," said Nur Ahmed, a colonel in the police service.

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