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Elite forces kill militants during twin Al-Shabaab raids in Somalia

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Special Forces in Somalia killed three Al-Shabaab militants in Lower Shebelle, a terror hotbed, officials said, with the twin attack leaving several casualties.

Lower and Middle Shebelle have been attracted intensive operations in recent weeks, even as FGS and allied forces partner to flush the militants out of their hideouts.

At 2 am local time, fierce fighting was reported at El-Salini military base, which is managed by federal government forces, officials said.

During the attack at the base, the militants whose number could not be established, seized parts of the camp, destroying military equipment among them armored personnel vehicles, reports indicate.

But in an offensive counter-attack, security forces said, government troops, retook the base after an intensive gunfight, which left unaccounted casualties.

Wednesday's raid at a military base is the first this year within Somalia territory. The last time Al-Shabaab attacked a military base was in September 2019 during a repulsed raid at the Ballidogle army base.

Ballidogle, which is located at least 75 kilometers northwest of Mogadishu, is manned by American troops and Somalia's Danab forces, officials said.

At 5 am local time on Wednesday, the militants also raided Qoryoley town within Lower Shebelle, in which Special Forces managed to gun down three of them.

The attack started with a VBIED explosion targeting the main brigade connecting the town before they were repulsed, reports said.

Locally-mobilized forces responded swiftly by blocking the VBIED before it reached the bridge, thus repulsing a would-be deadly attack in recent days.

But the explosion dismantled a small footbridge in the town, leaving three militants dead in the process, authorities confirmed.

Although Qoryoley town has a number of locally-mobilized forces, there is also a significant deployment of Ugandan People's Defence Forces working under AMISOM.

The Al-Shabaab militants have attacked the town multiple towns since 2014 but local forces have often consistently put up a fight to defend their town, local officials said.

Recently, the US military started joint operations with SNA in Lower Shebelle, after two years of calling off such efforts to liberate the region.

While the Al-Shabaab militants have been significantly degraded, they have often waged unprecedented sporadic attacks within Mogadishu and its suburbs, UN report noted.

The militants had retreated to remote villages mainly within Central and Southern Somalia, where they recruit and train underage children before commissioning them.

Worthy noting, the militants have also been battling frequent internal squabbles leading to the exit of a number of the group's top commanders, spy agency NISA reported.

Since 2010, the group has killed at least 4,000 people mainly civilians, despite its frequent claims that its main targets are security forces and foreigners.


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