Al-Shabaab loses in battlefront in Somalia war

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - With the help of the clan militia and international partners, the Somali National Army [SNA] eliminated at least 42 Al-Shabaab militants in Southern Somalia on Tuesday, reports indicate, as the national army continued to liberate strategic areas across the country in line with Somali Transition Plan.

The 42 Al-Shabaab militants were killed in Mahaday District in the Southern part of the country, the government said, following special aid by the US Africa Command and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] troops, who have been partnering with local troops in the recent past according to authorities.

The Ministry of Information, which has been giving official updates on the operation against Al-Shabaab, said the military first killed at least 27 militants on Monday night before killing 15 more on Tuesday. The operation against Al-Shabaab started over six months ago when Hassan Sheikh Mohamud took over.

After about a 30-hour battle, the ministry further states, several sophisticated weapons and armoured vehicles used by the militants were recovered by the Somali National Army and have since been taken for ballistic examination. The operation targeted Al-Shabaab commanders, the statement added.

"The Somali government is committed to eliminating terrorists in the country," the ministry said, noting that the operation will continue as planned with the main task being killing the commanders or capturing them alive for interrogation and subsequent sentencing.

Heavy fighting broke out between Al-Shabaab and Somali National Army backed by the Ma'awisley clan militia recently in Hiiraan leaving several militants dead. The militia fighting Al-Shabaab were transferred to Mogadishu for advanced treatment after sustaining injuries during the battle.

The US Africa Command has heightened drone strikes in regions still under Al-Shabaab dominance with central and southern Somalia being the key targets. Al-Shabaab has been working to overthrow the fragile UN-backed federal government of Somalia, but the group has failed to realize the mission due to formidable military resistance.

GAROWE ONLINE

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