Armed al-Shabab fighters ride on pickup trucks [Associated Press]

One of Al-Shaabab's leaders has been killed in an attack in the Middle Juba region, the Government of Somalia has announced.

Abdullahi Nadir is believed to have been the founder and leader of a terror group that has terrorised  the country for decades.

A statement released by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of the Federal Republic of Somalia, indicated that a joint operation between the national forces and international partners led to the death of Abdullahi Nadir.

"A planned operation in cooperation with the Somalia national forces and their international partners has killed one of the top leaders of Al-Shaabab", the statement read.

Abdullahi was found by the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) while hiding between Kuunya-Barrow and Jilib districts.

According to the government, the operation took place in the Haram area of the central Juba region.

 Abdullahi was said to be a possible replacement of leader of the Al-Shaabab group, Ahmed Diriye, who is rumoured to be exiting due to prolonged illness.