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Top Al-Shabaab leaders killed in US backed Somali elite squad operation in southern Somalia- Sources

Storyline:National News

Senior Al-Shabaab leaders among them the leader Abu Ubeida and spokesman Abu Muscab are suspected to have been killed in a US and Somali elite squad operation in Sakow area of Middle Jubba in southern Somalia, multiple sources have said.

The operation which locals reported to have taken place between Thursday and Saturday is also reported to have killed a number of senior Al-Shabaab members who form the decision making organ called the Shura Council.

A source in Sakow town, on condition of anonymity who spoke with Goobjoog News National Security correspondent said several Somali forces disguised in Al-Shabaab outfits landed in Sakow town after they were dropped from a military gunship suspected to belong to US commandos.

The squad, the source said made their way into the town while asking locals to remain vigil for a better part of the afternoon.

“We could not clearly identify them as they had face masks. After a while they emerged from a village nearby dragging along some people whom we suspect were Al-Shabaab members. We later saw the body of one Somali soldier,” the source said.

The news agency, Xinhua quoted a source close to the government saying the US forces backed by the Somali elite squad, Danab killed 30 militants within the same period.

“The U.S. backed by Somali commandos hit Al-Shabaab targets in Sakow town, killing 30 militants in separate security operations that took place on Aug. 10 and Aug 13.

Senior members of the terror group were killed,” the source who declined to be identified told Xinhua by telephone.

There are no immediate reports from Somali government or US concerning the operation which is billed to be one of the deadliest for the militant group.

Ubeida took over the leadership of Al-Shabaab in September 2014 after then leader Ali Godane was felled in a US airstrike in the same month.

US and Somali elite forces have in the past few months launched clandestine operations in Lower and Middle Jubba regions killing several senior Al-Shabaab members.

The operations have been intensified as Somalia prepares for Presidential and Parliamentary elections set to start from September.