Al-Amriki And Al-Britani: Militants ‘Killed’ In Somalia

Al-Amriki And Al-Britani: Militants ‘Killed’ In Somalia

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Two top Islamist militants, from the US and UK, have been killed in Somalia after falling out with al-Shabab, witnesses have told the BBC.

Omar Hammami, known as al-Amriki, and Osama al-Britani, a British citizen of Pakistani origin, are said to have died in an early-morning attack in a village south-west of the capital, Mogadishu.

They have been hiding from al-Shabab since leaving the group this year.

There have been several previous reports of al-Amriki’s death.

One of al-Amriki’s fighters told the BBC that they had been overpowered by the al-Shabab attack in a village near the town of Dinsor.
He said al-Shabab had taken away the bodies of the two Westerners.

Another of their allies, Khadap al-Masari, from Egypt, surrendered, the fighter said.

Local residents confirmed the deaths, as did a senior source within al-Shabab.

The two men were allies of veteran Somali Islamist, Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, who split from al-Shabab in June.
He is currently in the custody of the UN-backed government.

BBC Somali analyst Mohamed Mohamed says al-Shabab has been hunting down and killing allies of Mr Aweys since the split.
Mr Aweys is seen as less hardline than al-Shabab leader Ahmed Abdi Godane, who also has a more international agenda.

Al-Amriki was known for rapping jihadist songs which were loaded onto YouTube.

The news of the killings comes a day after a group of leading Islamic scholars issued a fatwa denouncing al-Shabab, saying the group had no place in Islam.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took office as Somali president a year ago, vowing to end two decades of fighting in the country.
Pro-government forces have pushed al-Shabab out of several key cities but the group still controls many smaller towns and rural areas.