Revenge threatened for slain Somali Qaeda chief
DUBAI: A statement posted in the name of a Somali militant group on Thursday vowed to avenge the killing in a United States air strike of its commander, said to be Al Qaeda’s leader in the African country.
Ethiopian officials and rebels in Somalia said on Thursday that a US air strike killed at least 12 people, including Aden Hashi Ayro.
“American fighters targeted a house in Dhusamareb, around 500 kilometers north of the capital Mogadishu, where some of the leaders of your brothers in the Young Mujahedeen Movement were present,” the Young Mujahedeen Movement (YMM), better known as the Shabab, said in the statement.
Those who “joined the caravan of martyrs” included “the valiant commander and hero Abu Mohsen al-Ansari (Sheikh Adam Hashi Ayro), who terrorised the infidels,” said the statement posted on a website often used by militant groups.
The statement, whose authenticity could not be independently verified, vowed that militants in Somalia would “exact revenge from America, holder of the cross, and her agents. The YMM is a Somali Islamist group that was placed on the US government’s terror blacklist in March. The militant killed on Thursday, whose full name was Moalim Aden Hashi Ayro, was the group’s military leader.
Ayro trained with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and had been linked to the deaths of foreign aid workers in Somalia. He had been a target of a US air strike in 2007. Another senior Shabab member, Sheikh Muhyadin Omar, was also killed in the strike.
In Washington, the Pentagon confirmed an attack on an Al-Qaeda military leader in Somalia but declined to identify him and would not initially say whether the mission had been successful. afp