A senior al-Shabaab leader who is believed to have helped mastermind the terrorist group’s deadly attack on a Kenyan military base in January has been killed in an airstrike, the US military’s Africa Command (Africom) said.

Three Americans – two contractors and a soldier – were killed during the Jan. 5 attack on the Manda Bay base, which is used by U.S. and Kenyan soldiers.

The man killed in the Feb. 22 airstrike was “in charge of planning and directing terrorist operations on the Kenya border region, including the recent attack on Manda Bay,” Africom said in a statement.

His wife was also killed in the airstrike, which was carried out near the town of Saakow by Africom in coordination with the Somali government.

She was a “witting and active member of al-Shabaab responsible for facilitating a wide range of terrorist activities,” according to Africom.

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“This strike demonstrates that we will continue to relentlessly pursue those responsible for Manda Bay and those wishing to do harm to Americans and our African partners,” said Africom’s commander, Gen. Stephen Townsend.

“Al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda affiliate, is an evil and remorseless enemy of peace, stability, and freedom in East Africa and threatens the very way of life of people there, as well as Americans and U.S. interest in the region and abroad,” he added.

The terrorist militia, which wants to establish an Islamist state in Somalia, repeatedly attacks security forces and civilians.

It is based in Somalia, but also regularly carries out attacks in neighbouring Kenya. (dpa/NAN)