US designated two top militant leaders as 'terrorists'
The United States government has formally designed two top Al-Shabab leaders as terrorists following deadly attacks in Somalia and across East African region.
The state Department added Ahmed Diriye, the new Al-Shabab leader who replaced Ahmed Abdi Godane who was killed in a US air strike last year and Mahad Karate, his deputy to the terrorist list on Tuesday.
Announcing the designation, State noted that Diriye "shares Godane's vision for al Shabaab's terrorist attacks in Somalia as an element of al Qaeda's greater global aspirations.", after the group's fighters
attacked Kenyan University in a deadly siege which killed at least 147 people, mostly students.
The group also carried out numerous deadly attacks across Somalia.
In the statement, the state Department said Diriye or Karate has any interest is blocked and any assets they may have under U.S. jurisdiction are frozen. U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in any transactions with Diriye or Karate, or to their benefit.
Al-Shabab claimed the responsibility for the 2010 Kampala bombing attacks in Uganda, the 2013 Westgate attack in Nairobi.
No comment could be reached from Al-Shabab on the development. The Department of State said it took the decision in consultation with the Departments of Justice and Treasury.