A huge blow to Al-Shabaab as army captures key town in central Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Somali National Army [SNA] on Tuesday recaptured Ba'adweyn town from Al-Shabaab militants, over four months after the region was captured by the Al-Qaida linked group, which controls large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
Al-Shabaab has been using the strategic town in unleashing terror against innocent civilians, security forces, and top government officials. The town is an important supply route in the country, especially within the Mudug region.
Military officials said the town fell to government forces in the early hours of Tuesday with several surrounding villages also being restored by the military. The SNA troops have been executing operations across the country for months.
"Somali National Army along with Galmudug regional Darwish forces took over control of Ba’adweyn town and surrounding areas in the early hours of Tuesday, military officials confirmed," state media reported.
Apart from Ba'adweyn, the military has also managed to get hold of several towns in Middle and Lower Jubba, showing its capabilities ahead of the full implementation of the Somali Transition Plan [STP] which will see foreign troops leave Somalia.
Moments after the capture of Ba'adweyn, the SNA troops captured Harardhere and Imaamd villages in Southern Mudug in Galmadug state. During the operation, the terrorists managed to escape from their hideouts.
"Troops from 21st Division of Somali National Army have captured Hareerdhere and Imaamd, Al-Shabab stronghold villages in southern Mudug region. Terrorists had fled before the Army arrived. This comes as SNA took over full control of Ba’adweyn town on Tuesday morning," state media added.
Last week, a senior Al-Shabab commander Mohamed Abdi Suubiye "Toosoow" was among 16 militants killed in a separate operation in southern and central Somalia according to military sources.
He was killed last Saturday after he attempted to resist the army in Darussalam near Adan Yabaal of the Middle Shabelle region, senior military officers told Garowe Online. His death was described as "critical" in the Al-Shabaab war.