The Somali prime minister, Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed, announced on Friday that Ahmed Godane, head of the Islamist militant group al Shabaab, was killed in a U.S. strike this week.

Although the prime minister confirmed Godane’s death, the terrorist group waging an insurgency is yet to respond.

According to Reuters, U.S. officials had said on Wednesday that they were still checking to see whether Monday's U.S. missile strike on an al Shabaab encampment had killed Godane, who was appointed leader in 2008 after his predecessor was killed in a U.S. attack.

"We tell the Somalis that Godane is dead," Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said on his  page, the first government confirmation of his death.