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Somalia tries to verify if top militant killed

Sep. 3, 2014 - 08:25AM   |  
In this Dec. 8, 2008, photo, armed al-Shabab fighters on pickup trucks prepare to travel into the city, just outside Mogadishu, in Somalia. U.S. military forces targeted the Islamic extremist network on Sept. 1 in Somalia, the Pentagon said.
In this Dec. 8, 2008, photo, armed al-Shabab fighters on pickup trucks prepare to travel into the city, just outside Mogadishu, in Somalia. U.S. military forces targeted the Islamic extremist network on Sept. 1 in Somalia, the Pentagon said. (Farah Abdi Warsameh / AP)
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KAMPALA, UGANDA — A spokesman for Somalia’s government says local officials are trying to verify whether the leader of al-Shabab was killed or wounded in a U.S. airstrike.

Abdiwali Ridwaan said Wednesday that the government is “in the process” of verifying who was hit in the attack Monday night.

He said they are certain the strikes hit “a gathering” of al-Shabab leaders.

Ridwaan praised U.S. support in the war on the al-Qaida-linked militant group whose leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, claimed responsibility for a deadly attack a year ago on an upscale mall in Kenya.

The U.S. confirmed Tuesday that the strikes, conducted by special operations forces using manned and unmanned aircraft, targeted Godane.

Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. launched the operation based on “actionable” intelligence.

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