Al-Shabab denies Kenya has killed its spy chief

Kenyan warplanes have targeted al-Shabab positions in Somalia on numerous occasions since 2011

The shadowy centre helping former al-Shabab members quit

Militant Islamist group al-Shabab has denied that its intelligent chief has been killed in a Kenyan air strike in southern Somalia.

Mohammed Karatey and 10 other al-Shabab commanders were killed in the strike on 8 February, the Kenyan army said.

He played a key role in last month’s deadly attack on a Kenyan military base in neighbouring Somalia, it added.

But al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda, said Karatey was alive and there had been no attempt on his life.

Kenya was only trying to win public support for its military campaign in Somalia by alleging he had been killed, a spokesman for the group said on local radio.

Al-Shabab cash targets disillusioned Kenyans

Who are al-Shabab?

Al-Shabab said it had killed about 100 Kenyan troops in the attack on base in southern Somalia’s el-Ade town on 15 January.

Kenyan confirmed the attack, but declined to give casualty figures.

It has since carries out a series of strikes targeting the militants in Somalia.

The Kenyan army said Karate was at an al-Shabab camp to preside over the passing out parade of dozens of recruits, including suicide bombers, when he was killed.

More than 40 other militants were also killed when the camp, between the towns of Buale and Sakow, was targeted, the army added.