African Union force says key al-Shabab commander killed

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The African Union force in Somalia says it has killed a “chief finance controller” for the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab extremist group.

The AU force in a series of tweets on Thursday says the commander, the head of tax collection in Lower Shabelle region, was killed after an ambush on Monday on an al-Shabab meeting in Bariire. The extremists bring in funding by taxing the communities they control

The AU force says another seven al-Shabab fighters were killed on Sunday when their attack on a forward operating bases was “botched.”

The multinational force in the coming years is expected to draw down and hand over responsibility for Somalia’s security to the country’s military.

Al-Shabab holds rural parts of southern and central Somalia and continues to target the capital with high-profile attacks.