al-Shabaab militants
Tahlil Abdi Shekar was one of al-Shabaab's top intelligence chiefs in SomaliaReuters

One of Al-Shabaab's top intelligence chiefs, who orchestrated a number of devastating suicide bomb attacks, has been killed in a US air strike in Somalia.

Tahlil Abdi Shekar along with another militant, was killed when his vehicle was struck by several hellfire missiles near the Somali town of Saakow. The news was confirmed by a US official, who spoke to Reuters anonymously.

Despite their strong numbers, al-Shabaab's senior leadership has been damaged in recent months.

Three months ago, al-Shabaab's leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in a US air strike.

Under Godane's leadership, the Islamist group, also known as Harakat Shabaab al-Mujahidin, pledged their allegiance to al-Qaeda.

Godane was succeeded by Ahmad Umar, also known as Abu Ubaidah, in September 2014.

One of the most wanted members of the Somali terror group also recently "gave himself up" after his house was raided near the Kenyan border.

Zakariya Ahmed Ismail Hersi was a key part of the Islamist organisation's intelligence wing and once had a $3m (£1.93m) bounty for his capture through the US State Department's Rewards for Justice program.

The news was confirmed by an anonymous Somali intelligence official, although al-Shabaab have yet to give an official statement confirming Hersi's surrender.