Top Somali militant killed in U.S. operation, Pentagon says

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(CNN) — Ahmed Godane, the co-founder of the Somali militant group Al-Shabaab, was killed in a U.S. military operation, the Pentagon said Friday.

“The U.S. military undertook operations against Godane on Sept. 1, which led to his death. Removing Godane from the battlefield is a major symbolic and operational loss to Al-Shabaab,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.

On Monday, U.S. military conducted a strike in the African country targeting Godane, who pledged allegiance to al Qaeda. He has headed the Al-Shabaab as it has terrorized East Africa, killing Somali officials, aid workers and others in a spate of suicide bombings. Godane allegedly was behind 2013’s deadly siege of a Nairobi, Kenya, shopping mall.