Somalia: Puntland says ‘Al Shabaab death toll climbing’


GAROWE, Somalia-Puntland government on Monday announced, army killed 55 Al Shabaab fighters in intense bursts of fighting in coastal villages, Garowe Online reports. 

On Sunday, State broadcaster PLTV, reported that Al Shabaab suffered 42 deaths in a figure depicting heavy losses following four days of counterterror operations in Suuj valley and plateau perching near the Indian Ocean town of Garacad . 

“We have taken 31 Al Shabaab militants prisoner,” said military source who spoke with GO on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give details. 

Earlier today, Puntland forces in technicals blocked fleeing militants from retreating into Galmudug-controlled territories in southern parts of Mudug.  

On March 14, boatloads of militants trying to infiltrate northwards towards difficult terrain along Golis Mountain Ranges arrived in Garacad.  

Puntland announced that Indian Ocean Storm Clean-up operations were already over in Suujvalley by Sunday.  

Puntland Army Chief, Gen. Saed Mohamed Hirsi (Saed Dhere) and Security Minister Abdi HirsiAli (Qarjab) are assessing blistering victories secured against Al Shabaab in the fierce counteroffensives.  

--PM hails Puntland 

Federal Government of Somalia’s Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Ali Sharmarke has hailed Puntland in the fight against Al Shabaab terrorists.  

Addressing members of media on arrival at Adan Ade International Airport, Prime Minister Sharmarke quashed any possibility of deploying African Union peacekeepers in Puntland. 

“I don’t see a reason for AMISOM to be sent. 

Puntland forces alone could handle with the situation and the government has since been extending its hands,” said Sharmarke.  

The Prime Minister called Al Shabaab militants in Puntland ‘fugitives’, signifying possible anti-terrorism cooperation between the federal government and regional administrations.  

Puntland President has rebuffed flogging African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) role to the northeastern state.


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