Africa News Tue, 7 Apr 2020

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'Al-Shabab founder killed' in US air strike

The United States says it has killed a founding member of the militant Islamist group al-Shabab, Yusuf Jiis, in an airstrike in Somalia.

There has been no word so far from al-Shabab.

The commander of US Africa Command, Gen Stephen Townsend, described Jiis as a brutal, ruthless killer who held senior positions in al-Shabab.

He carried out attacks inside and outside Somalia.

The US has significantly increased attacks there since US President Donald Trump took office.

A number of powerful Somali militants have been killed in US air attacks.

But every time a jihadist is killed, another one seems to be waiting in the wings.

Al-Shabab maintains an ability to strike targets and control territory.

Gen Townsend said that the US considered pausing its operations in Somalia because of coronavirus.

But it chose to continue because, as he put it, the leaders of al-Qaeda, al-Shabab and the Islamic State group have announced they see the pandemic as an opportunity to further their "terrorist agenda".

Rights groups say they have evidence that several civilians have been killed in the US attacks. America rarely acknowledges that it has killed civilians in Somalia.

Source: bbc.com

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