Militants Al-Shabaab name new leader after Godane killing

Sheikh Abii Ubeyda Ahmad Omar has been named as Somalian militant group Al-Shabaab's new leader.

The terror organisation announced the decision after confirming the killing of Ahmed Godane by US airstrikes.

Officials at the Pentagon called Godane's death a "major symbolic and operational loss" for the al Qaeda-affiliated organisation.

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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.

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.

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.

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