Pentagon confirms: U.S. airstrike killed leader of al-Shabaab

Ahmed Abdi Godane, a co-founder of a network blamed for its brutal tactics in Somalia and for the attack on an upscale Kenyan shopping mall last year, was killed Monday in an attack carried out by U.S. drones and other aircraft, the Pentagon said.

“Removing Godane from the battlefield is a major symbolic and operational loss to al-Shabab,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement.

U.S. military officials had acknowledged that they were trying to kill Godane in Monday’s air assault on a Shabab compound in southern Somalia. But they had been cautious about asserting the mission was successful, mindful of reports of other al-Qaeda leaders who had been killed in drone attacks, only to resurface later.