A Kenyan air strike has killed the intelligence chief of Somalia’s militant Islamist group al-Shabab, an army statement has said.
Mohammed Karatey and 10 other al-Shabab commanders were killed in the strike in southern Somalia on 8 February, it added.
He played a key role in last month’s deadly attack on a Kenyan military base in neighbouring Somalia, the army said.
Al-Shabab has dismissed the claim that Karatey has been killed.
Kenya contributes more than 4,000 troops to the 22,000-strong AU force that is in Somalia helping the UN-backed government battle al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda.
Al-Shabab said it had killed about 100 troops in the attack on the Kenyan base in el-Ade town on 15 January.
Kenya troops first entered Somalia in 2011 in an effort to stop the militants from carrying cross border attacks and kidnapping people.
The Kenyan army said Karate was at an al-Shabab training camp to preside over the passing out parade of dozens of recruits, including suicide bombers, assassins and explosive experts.
More than 40 of the fighters were killed in the strike, the army added.
In April last year, the US State Department designated Karatey, also known as Abdirahim Mohamed Warsame, as a terrorist.
He played a major role in the massacre of 147 people – mostly students – at Kenya’s Garissa University last year, it added.
Al-Shabab, which is fighting to establish an Islamic state in Somalia, was ousted from the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011, but still has a presence in large areas of southern Somalia and often stages attacks across the country.