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Pentagon Confirms Death of Al-Shabab Terror Leader in U.S. Airstrike

Somali Militia of Al-Shabab seen during exercises at their military training camp outside Mogadishu. The armed wing of the former ruling Islamic Courts in Somalia, Al-Shabab is a powerful resurgent group and has been fighting foreign troops in the country since early 2007. Al-Shabab is named as a terrorist organization by United States of America. (AP Photo(AP Photo)

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Pentagon on Friday confirmed the death of the leader of the al-Shabab terror group, Ahmed Abdi Godane, who was the target of a U.S. airstrike Monday in Somalia.

The Pentagon's press secretary, Rear Adm. John Kirby, confirmed the death in a brief written statement.

The White House declared a counterterrorism success.

"Godane's removal is a major symbolic and operational loss to the largest al-Qaida affiliate in Africa and reflects years of painstaking work by our intelligence, military and law enforcement professionals," a White House statement said.

U.S. officials had said after the strike on Monday that U.S. special operations forces using manned and drone aircraft had destroyed an encampment and a vehicle using several Hellfire missiles and laser-guided munitions. But they did not confirm that Godane had been killed until Friday.

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