US drone strike kills key al-Shabab leader in Somalia – Spencer Ackerman Friday 1 April 2016 17.42 EDT

Pentagon press secretary, said an airstrike conducted on Thursday targeted Hassan Ali Dhoore, a ‘senior leader’ of the Somali terror group al-ShabaabUS military Somalia strikes

A US drone strike in Somalia has killed a key leader of the al-Shabab militant group who was involved in two attacks in Mogadishu more than a year ago, killing Americans, several US officials said on Friday.

It was the US military’s second strike in a month on terrorist targets in Somalia, a country against which the US has never declared war.

Hassan Ali Dhoore and two others were killed in the strike Thursday about 20 miles (32 kilometres) south of Jilib in southern Somalia not far from the Kenyan border, the officials said.

They said Dhoore helped facilitate a deadly Christmas Day 2014 attack at the airport and a March 2015 attack at the Maka al-Mukarramah hotel, both in the Somali capital. US citizens were among those killed in the attacks, the officials said.

On 5 March, US-piloted warplanes and drones attacked a Somali training camp for al-Shabaab, killing more than 100 people. While the exact death toll is disputed, according to an eyewitness and other local sources contacted by the Guardian, the strike was likely the single most lethal conducted by the US for a counterterrorism operation since 9/11.

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