UPDATE: al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Diriye ‘stepping down’ over ill-health-NISA

The militant group Al-Shabaab is effecting changes in its senior leadership following ill-health of the group’s senior-most man, Somalia’s intelligence agency has said.

National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) said in a tweet Saturday Ahmed Diriye had handed over reigns of power to his deputy Abukar Aden.

“For medical reasons, the head of Al-Shabaab has transferred authority to his deputy Abukar Aden amid tussles between Diriye and Mahad Karate who wants be named the supervisor,” NISA said.

The announcement of supposed changes in the Al-Shabaab organisation comes at a time the group has been reported to be facing leadership crisis over Diriye’s alleged fledgeling health and death of several senior officials in U.S. drone strikes.

The US Africa Command announced last week the killing of one of the most sought senior commanders in the group, Abdulkadir Commandos in an airstrike in the vicinity of Saakow town in Middle Jubba region.

Another ranking member, Yusuf Jiis, was killed in a U.S. airstrike in April.

Jiis, whose real name is Yusuf Nur Sheikh Hassan was among the longest-serving influential leaders of the group and was in charge of humanitarian affairs.

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