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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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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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