Newly-trained al-Shabaab fighters perform military exercises in Lafofe, Mogadishu. File photo

The militant group al-Shabaab has vowed revenge for the killing of its leader in a US airstrike on Somalia and named a successor, Al Jazeera reported.

In a message given to the broadcaster, the group declared that it would never give up or forget its solemn obligation to avenge the death of Ahmed Godane, the co-founder of al-Shabaab.

It said that Godane’s successor, Ahmed Umar, had been named in a unanimous decision, according to BBC.

Godane was killed on Monday in the US strike, but his death was not certain until the Pentagon and Somali government confirmed it on Friday.

“Removing Godane from the battlefield is a major symbolic and operational loss to al-Shabaab,” said Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon spokesman.

“His death is great news for the Somali people, because he was responsible for the killing of thousands of innocent people in his so-called holy war,” Somali National Security Ministry spokesman Mohamed Yusuf said.

Godane had claimed credit for ordering the deadly attack in 2013 on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi that killed 67 people.

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