MOGADISHU, April 15 (Xinhua) -- The Somali government on Monday confirmed the killing of the deputy leader of the Islamic State (IS) group in northern Somalia by U.S. and local security forces.
"Somali security forces in coordination with the U.S. forces have killed a high-ranking commander of the Daesh (IS) terrorist group in a raid in Hiriro neighborhood, Iskushuban, Bari province," the ministry of information said.
Security official said two IS militants, including its deputy leader, Abdihakim Mohamed Ibrahim, were killed in the strike. The identity of the other IS fighter was not established.
Pro-IS militants split from al-Shabab in October 2015 and later occupied Qandala, a key location in Bari region under Puntland State Administration, in northern Somalia.
There was no immediate confirmation from the U.S. military, which has stepped up its military support for Somalia over the past few years.
Some strikes have inflicted considerable casualties on al-Shabab in recent months.