According to a Somalia state radio report late on Saturday, Bashir Mohamed Mahamoud was the head of al Shabab's operations and was killed in an American air strike on February 22 in the Sakow district of the Jubba region in Somalia's south.

US 101st Airborne Division on a mission to bolster the security in Somalia exit a transport plane at Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya January 5, 2020. Image: US Air Force/Senior Airman Sean Carnes
US 101st Airborne Division on a mission to bolster the security in Somalia exit a transport plane at Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya January 5, 2020. Image: US Air Force/Senior Airman Sean Carnes (Senior Airman Sean Carnes / US Air Force)

A senior commander in Somalia's al Shabab group with a $5 million bounty on his head was killed in an American air strike last month, according to Somalia state media, a blow to the militants' insurgency.

According to a Somalia state radio report late on Saturday, Bashir Mohamed Mahamoud was the head of al Shabab's operations and was killed in an American air strike on February 22 in the Sakow district of the Jubba region in Somalia's south.

Mahamoud sometimes used the alias Bashir Qoorgaab.

"AFRICOM forces killed in an air strike Bashir Mohamed (qoorgaab), the operation head as well executive member of al Shabab," the state radio reported, using an acronym for the US military's Africa Command.

The radio report said Mahamoud had been responsible for a series of attacks on Somalia national army military bases among other attacks.

Somalia's information minister Mohamed Abdi Hayir Mareye did not respond to a Reuters' call for comment. Al Shabab could not be reached for comment.

Since 2008, al Shabab has been fighting to topple Somalia's central government and establish its own rule based on a strict interpretation of law.

The group's campaign of bombings and gun attacks has targeted Somali military bases and civilian infrastructure including hotels, bars and schools in both Somalia and other regional countries.

Al Shabab fighters also target the African Union-mandated peacekeeping force AMISOM, which helps defend the central government.

The United States frequently carries out air strikes in Somalia aimed against al Shabab, attempting to degrade their capabilities and ultimately defeating them.

Source: Reuters