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Puntland Army kills 167 militants in counteroffensives-Govt

Puntland

GAROWE, Somalia-The army has killed 167 terrorists in the course of two counteroffensives in Suuj valley and Dhinowda vicinity, Puntland Information Minister, Mohamud Hassan So’adde has announced on Tuesday.

So’adde disclosed at media briefing in the State capital, Garowe that 112 militants—among them a foreign national-- were killed in Dhinowda while the remaining 55 militiamen were neutralized in Suuj valley in clear triumph against the already beleaguered Al Shabaab terrorist group.

Puntland Defense Forces have also taken 106 fighters captive following a four-day counterterror raids in Suuj and areas perching near the Indian Ocean town of Garacad.

Continuing, the minister said, the death toll on Al Shabaab side could be far higher than the estimated figure since Puntland troops are still on the field in Mudug.

On Monday, Puntland forces blocked fleeing militants from retreating into Galmudug-controlled territories in Mudug region.

An estimated 10 wounded fighters are believed to be on-the-run near Suuj.

--Puntland leadership congratulates army

Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali along with Vice President AbdihakinAbdullahi Haji Omar has thanked Puntland Army for exceptional valour and professionalism in defending Puntland from the enemy.

Ali initially paid a visit to the headquarters of Puntland Security Forces (PSF), inspecting guard of honor there.

PSF commanders briefed the President on the end of the operation, and expressed their keenness in confronting any hostile element aiming to destabilize Puntland.

The presidential delegation also proceeded with their thanksgivings, and mingled with units from Puntland Maritime Police Force (PMPF).

The marine soldiers used speedboats to hit Al Shabaab militants harder in the coastal villages of Suuj and Garmaal.

Puntland leader yesterday told a news conference at the State House upon his return from trips to Canada and US that war is far from over.

Ali saluted unity in the face of brewing terror and thanked people from across all spectrums for their sacrifices and support for the government’s resolve against terrorism.

The government commenced cleanup operations in Garacad and Suuj on Mar. 15, a day after boatloads of Al Shabaab militants arrived by boats.

Federal Government of Somalia’s Prime Minister, Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke,Monday applauded Puntland for pursuing Al Shabaab fugitives, ruling out the possibility of putting AMISOM boots on the ground.

On Mar. 19, UN-backed national government delivered 40 boxes of AK-47 assault rifle ammunition and 30 packages of tuna fish cans alongside Arab consignment in two planeloads according to military sources.

GAROWEONLINE