Dozens of militants killed in fresh raids in central Somalia
JALALAQSI, Somalia – The Somali security forces have killed at least 20 Islamist militants in shootouts in central Hiran province on Friday night, an official said on Saturday, Garowe Online reports.
Speaking to the local media, the commissioner of Jalalaqsi town, Mohamed Nur Agajof said the Somali National Army [SNA] engaged in a fierce gunfight with the extremists in the city’s outskirts.
The district official added that the troops were acting on a tip-off from residents and intelligence information indicating that armed militants were on their way to attack a major Somali military base.
“The army kept at bay an attack from Al-Shabab and confiscated weapons and ammunition in the counter-offensive which left at least 20 fighters dead,” said a senior military officer, who asked not to be named.
The deadly operation comes as Somali forces backed by AU and US troops launched a major campaign in parts of south and central regions which is aimed at vanquishing the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamists.
The allied forces chased Al-Shabaab away from the capital Mogadishu in August 2011, but the group still holds swathes of rural areas in central and southern regions and carrying out attacks in the country.