Top Somali militant, wanted by U.S., killed in infighting
July 1, 2013 -- Updated 1032 GMT (1832 HKT)
- Ibrahim Al Afghani was a top member of the Al-Shabaab militant group
- The United States had a $5 million bounty on his head
- Fighting between two Al-Shabaab factions began about a month ago
- The group denies a split and blames the reports on local media
(CNN) -- A senior Somali militant who had a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head has been killed in infighting among members of the al Qaeda-aligned group Al-Shabaab, a spokesman for the group said Saturday.
Ibrahim Al Afghani, a senior member of Al-Shabaab, was killed along with another top member, Moalim Burhan, in a shootout between two factions of the group June 20, spokesman Abu Musab said.
Al Afghani was wanted for terrorism by the U.S. State Department, which offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to his location.
A U.S. administration official said the United States believes the report of his death is true.
2012: The battle against al-Shabaab
It is the first time Al-Shabaab has confirmed the killing of two of its most senior members.
The internal fighting in Al-Shabaab is between two groups, one loyal to founding member Ahmed Godane and another, smaller faction that supports foreign jihadists in Somalia. It began about a month ago when a member of the smaller group was targeted in a tea shop, allegedly by members from the other side.
Al Afghani and Burhan were both members of the smaller faction.
The main Al-Shabaab group denies there is infighting and blames reports of a split on local media.
Musab said the two men were killed when Al-Shabaab fighters tried to arrest them for supporting foreign jihadists and the pair fought back. He said Al Afghani and Burhan were not killed intentionally.
Residents of the town where the men were killed described heavy fighting between opposing sides of Al-Shabaab. They told the private Shabelle Media Network that they fear war between the two factions could break out at any time.
In addition to the killing of the two, a prominent Somali militant leader was arrested by pro-government forces and turned over to the government in Mogadishu.
Hassan Dahir Aweys was detained this month.
In 2012: U.S. puts bounties on 7 key members of Somali terror group
CNN Pentagon Correspondent Barbara Starr contributed to this report.
Part of complete coverage on
March 15, 2014 -- Updated 0128 GMT (0928 HKT)
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this baffling disappearance.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1146 GMT (1946 HKT)
The two pilots who were flying Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 may lead to a few clues in the investigation.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
As investigators search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, analysts try to figure out why the high-tech plane's transponders were disabled.
Track star Oscar Pistorius is accused of killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. Follow live updates of South Africa's trial of the century.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 0958 GMT (1758 HKT)
A CNN team joins international observers trying to get into Crimea from Ukraine -- here's what they saw.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1224 GMT (2024 HKT)
Watch how Pope Francis is redefining the papacy and breathing new life into the Catholic Church.
March 14, 2014 -- Updated 1629 GMT (0029 HKT)
Browse through images you don't always see on news reports from CNN teams around the world.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
Michael Oren: He says the question is whether a truce can prevent conflict from becoming conflagration.
The Fukushima nuclear disaster changed global attitudes towards nuclear power. Explore our interactive to find out how.
March 12, 2014 -- Updated 2029 GMT (0429 HKT)
You -- the person now reading this story -- can help experts solve the mystery of what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1051 GMT (1851 HKT)
Scientists around the world are investigating whether living cells can be used to print replacement organs and tissues.
March 13, 2014 -- Updated 1153 GMT (1953 HKT)
There are two Web clips featuring Beyonce that have been getting a lot of attention.
Today's five most popular stories