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Somalia Puts Army on Alert After Al Qaeda-Linked Group Promises to Avenge Death of Spiritual Leader Killed in U.S. Airstrike

Somalia also replaced its national security director.

This undated and unlocated picture provided by US website 'Rewards for Justice' shows top Shebab leader, Somali Ahmed Abdi Godane also known as Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed. Ahmed Abdi Godane was publicly named emir of the organization in December 2007 and has a $7-million US bounty on his head. With their brazen massacre of dozens of people in a Kenyan shopping mall, Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked Shebab have proved they remain a potent threat despite internal divisions and a recent string of military losses. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Somalia put its army on alert and replaced its national security director on Sunday, Reuters reported, one day after Al Qaeda-linked militants named a new leader and vowed to avenge the death of their previous leader killed by a U.S. airstrike.

This undated and unlocated photo provided by U.S. website "Rewards for Justice" shows top Shebab leader, Somali Ahmed Abdi Godane also known as Ahmed Abdi Aw-Mohamed. Ahmed Abdi Godane was publicly named emir of the organization in December 2007 and has a $7 million  bounty on his head.  (Image source: AFP/Getty Images) Ahmed Abdi Godane (Image source: AFP/Getty Images)

Somalia's government said Friday night it has credible intelligence al-Shabab is planning attacks in retaliation for the death of its previous spiritual leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, killed in a U.S. airstrike on Monday.

Al-Shabab militants named Ahmad Umar — also known as Abu Ubaidah — as their new leader.

More from Reuters:

National Security Director Abdullahi Mohamed Ali had only been in his post since July. In an announcement after a cabinet meeting, government spokesman Ridwan Abdiweli gave no reason for the change but said Ali's deputy would stand in for him.

He said the defense and security ministers had called for "particular vigilance" following Godane's death.

Mortar shells struck a Mogadishu neighborhood on Sunday, a Somali police officer added.

The shells landed in residential areas in Hamarjajab neighborhood, wounding five residents, Mohamed Abdi said Sunday. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

Last October U.S. Navy SEALs carried out a pre-dawn raid on a coastal town in southern Somalia looking for Gondane — who was linked to the 2013 Kenyan shopping mall massacre — but did not get their target, a U.S. military official told the AP.

This story has been updated with video.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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