Dozens of Al-Shabaab militants killed in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Major gains were recorded by the Somali National Army [SNA] on Sunday following an operation against Al-Shabaab, the Department of Defence announced, in a crackdown that left at least 70 fighters dead as the country scales up the war against terrorism in the Horn of Africa.
According to the Ministry of Defence, the army killed over 70 Al-Shabaab militants in north-central Mudug, within the troubled Galmadug state. It was in Galmadug that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud personally visited and asked locals to join national and regional forces in the war.
Reports indicate that the military raided on Sunday Al Shabab terrorist hideouts and gathering places in the town of Aad. Consequently, a fight ensured leading to an exchange of gunfire between the national army against the militants who are said to have been armed.
In the process, the Ministry of Defence added, ring leaders of the terror group and many fighters were killed. Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Adala confirmed the incident while lauding soldiers for their "relentless sacrifice" in defending the country.
The Somali Defense Ministry, which also confirmed the operation, said “Recent military actions in Mudug and Galgaduud have dealt significant blows to Khawarij and their militias.” The operation comes just a day after the militants killed over 30 people in Beledweyne, Hiiraan region.
An airstrike targeting the militants was also fired on Saturday in Elbur, killing a senior Al-Shabaab militant whose name is yet to be revealed. The government of Somalia is pushing for the elimination of the Al-Shabaab militants with the close aid of international partners.
The second phase of operations against the Al-Shabaab will be activated in Jubaland and Southwest states, but there has been a delay after most officers were posted in central regions for combing exercise. The first phase targeted Galmadug and HirShabelle states.