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Al-Shabaab intelligence commander killed in Lower Shabelle, Pentagon and Somali government say

Storyline:National News, Security

A senior Al-Shabaab intelligence commandant, Hassan Ali Dhore was killed in US drone strike in Lower Shabelle southern Somalia Friday, Pentagon officials have said.

Dhore, who is said to have been in charge of the Al-Shabaab hit squad in Mogadishu, was killed in Torotowro village in Lower Shabelle according to Pentagon officials who spoke to Voice of America, VOA. The officials say Dhore helped facilitate a deadly Christmas Day 2014 attack at Aden Adde airport and a March 2015 attack at the Maka Al-Mukarramah Hotel, both in Mogadishu.

Somali government Friday said Somali commandos killed Dhore in Torotowro village Thursday night.

Meanwhile a second drone strike is reported to have hit an Al-Shabaab convoy in Janale, Lower Shabelle with initial reports indicating Al-Shabaab commander in Janale district was killed in the strike. The convoy was carrying key Al-Shabaab judicial officers, sources say.

The death of Dhore deals another blow to Al-Shabaab which has lost senior commanders in the recent past following US drone strikes and joint Amisom and Somalia army offensives.

Former Al-Shabaab chief intelligence Commander Abdishakur Tahlil was killed in a US drone strike December 29, 2014, barely three months after Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Godane was felled in similar airstrike.

US airstrike killed 150 Al-Shabaab militants in central Somalia early March.