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Airstrike reportedly kills rebel

May 01, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

An overnight airstrike reportedly killed the leader of Somalia's deadliest insurgent group, according to two of the organization's commanders.

They blamed the U.S., which previously launched four airstrikes in Somalia against suspected terrorists. U.S. officials could not be reached for comment.

This year, the U.S. added the group, Shabab, to its list of terrorist organizations. Its leader, Aden Ayro, has been linked by the U.S. to Al Qaeda.

"I'm confident Ayro was among the dead," said Shabab spokesman Muktar Robow, also known as Abu Mansur. Witnesses said Ayro and about 20 other commanders were in a central Somalia hide-out that was destroyed.

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