At least two senior commanders from the al-Shabab militant group have been killed in an unmanned drone strike in the Juungal area of Somalia, according to Kenya’s Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government.
The bodies were found after several loud blasts were heard in the town of Barded, one of the few towns still controlled by al-Shabab militants, the locals added.
“The drone strike that killed Al Shabab leaders took place Thursday 2am at Juungal area, between Baardheere and Buur Hajje in Somalia,” said Interior Ministry’s spokesperson Mwenda Njoka on his Twitter account.
Two of the commanders believed to have been killed are Ismael Jamhad and Jama Adhere, a Somali military officer travelling with the African Union troops in the area told the BBC.
Dulyadin Gamadhere, who was behind the horrific Garissa University attack which left over 148 fatalities, was considered one of the killed until the Kenyan Interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka tweeted that he was mistaken.
Clarification: The 2AM drone strike killed over 30 terrorists incl one JAMAA ADHERE but he isn't the GAMADHEERE of Garissa varsity attack.
— Mwenda Njoka (@mwendanjoka) July 16, 2015
He stated that he had mixed up Gamadhere, with the al-Shabab commander, named Jamaa Adhere.
The telecommunications network to Bardere has been cut off since the attack, but residents in the nearest village have been contactable, BBC’s Moalimu Mohamed reported.
After the blasts, armed al-Shabab militants rampaged the scene in Bardere, near the Juba River about 460 kilometre west of Mogadishu, where the dead men were found.
"Last night, a drone smashed an al Shabaab car believed to be carrying three officials," said local elder Nur Farah told Reuters on Thursday, was hit just outside the town of Bardere.