Al-Shabaab official wanted by U.S. dies in Somalia

Sheikh Hassan Turki

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 An Al-Shabaab leader wanted by the United States has died in Somalia, the Somali-based militant group announced Thursday.

A mouthpiece radio channel for the group carried a message saying Sheikh Hassan Turki (also known as Hassan Abillahi Hersi Turki) died Wednesday. The circumstances of his death were not immediately clear.

Turki was believed to be in his 70s and had transitioned from being a military leader into a spiritual figurehead after falling ill.

The United States first sanctioned him in 2004 for alleged links to terror attacks and association with al Qaeda.

The U.N. Security Council said Turki played a role in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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