NAIROBI: Somali and US troops this week killed a top leader of the Al-Shabab militant group with a $10 million US bounty on his head, Somali Information Minister stated.
The Al-Qaeda-linked militants have led a 16-year insurgency against the government and control swathes of rural areas of Somalia.
Maalim Ayman, leader of the Al-Shabab, was wanted by the US over an assault on an air base in Kenya in January 2020 that left three US citizens dead.
Somali, American Troops Kill Al-Shabab Leader with $10 Million Bounty
Information Minister Daud Aweis said that Maalim Ayman, a senior leader of the group, was confirmed to have been killed in a joint operation by the Somali military with help from US troops on December 17. He added Ayman was responsible for “plotting multiple terrorist assaults in Somalia and nearby nations.
In January, the United States State Department said Maalim Ayman planned the 2020 assault on the Manda Bay Airfield on Kenya’s northern coast, announcing a reward of up to 10 million US dollars for information that could lead to his arrest.
An African Union troops deployed in Somalia in 2007 with a 6-month mandate but still remains in the country.