Kenya’s army says it has killed Al-Shabab Improvised Explosive Device (IED) expert identified as Ma’alim Shariif along with fighters barely two days after Kenyan government claimed to have killed Mahad Karate who was the group’s deputy commander and overall head of the Amniyat (Al-Shabaab intelligence wing).
Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Col. David Obonyo said the KDF soldiers under the framework of African Union peace-Keeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) struck Al-Shabab training camp at Sidimo of Gedo region in southern Somalia on Thursday.
“During the engagement, AMISOM troops killed 20 terrorists while others escaped with multiple injuries. Among the dead was Maalim Sheriff, an IED expert who was the main target,” Obonyo said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
He pointed out than KDF siezed 16 AK47 rifles, six IED, two pistols, eight RPGS, assorted ammunition and Global Positioning System (GPS) gadget during the operation.
Sheriff has been the architect of the various IED incidents in Gedo region in southern Somali and also the IED expert for Al-Shabaab’s Abdi Zubeir Brigade, according the statement.
On 17th this month Kenya’s Military spokesman told reporters that Mahad Karate, also known as Abdirahim Mohamed Warsame, who was intelligence chief for Al-Shabab was killed along with 10 mid-level members of the Islamist group in an airstrike in southern Somalia on February 8 though the group dismissed the claims.
The U.S. State Department has offered a $5 million reward for information that brings Karate “to justice.” It says he plays a key role in the Amnyiat, the wing of Al-Shabab responsible for the assault on Kenya’s Garissa University last April that killed nearly 150 people.
Al-Shabab has carried out numerous attacks in Kenya since the government sent troops into Somalia to fight Al-Shabab in 2011. The latest being in December last year where the group overran KDF military base in Gedo region. Al-Shabab claimed to have killed 0ver fifty KDF soldiers.