Mogadishu, Somalia | AFP |
A jihadist leader who organised the April 2015 attack on Garissa University in eastern Kenya which left 148 people dead, has been killed in a raid in southwestern Somalia, a local official said Wednesday.
“Sixteen armed men, four of them senior commanders including Mohamed Mohamud Ali known as Dulyadin… were killed by the Somali commandos and the special forces of the Jubaland,” said Abdirashid Janan, minister of state security for Jubaland, an autonomous region in southern Somalia.
Janan was speaking at a press conference in the coastal town of Kismayo.
The April 2, 2015 assault at Garissa University College, 365 kilometres (225 miles) northeast of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, left 148 people dead, most of them students.
They were slain in their dormitories or rounded up and executed in a hall of residence.
The operation was carried out by four gunman from the Shabaab, Al-Qaeda’s East Africa branch.
It was the country’s bloodiest terror attack since Al-Qaeda bombed the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998, killing 213 people.
On July 16 last year, the Kenyan government said that Dulyadin — also known by the aliases of Kuno and Gamadhere — had been killed in a US drone strike, but it swiftly backtracked on the claim.
More than 30 Shabaab militants were killed in that operation, the government said.
The United States has in recent years launched numerous drone strikes against Shabaab leaders, including a strike in September 2014 that killed the group’s leader Ahmed Abdi Godane.
Kenya has suffered at the hands of Shabaab since sending troops into neighbouring Somalia to fight the jihadists in 2011.
Terrorist attacks have been frequent and deadly while in Somalia, Kenyan soldiers have been killed and their commanders accused of war profiteering through involvement in charcoal and sugar smuggling.
In January, Kenya suffered what is thought to be its worst-ever military loss when an army outpost in southern Somalia was overrun by Shabaab fighters.
Some estimate that as many as 180 soldiers died.