More Al-Shabaab militants killed in Somalia

The Somali National Army and the government-allied Ras Kamboni Brigade militia wave the Somali national flag from the former control tower of the airport in Kismayo, southern Somalia, Oct. 2, 2012.Stuart Price / AP

Several Al-Shabaab militants were killed earlier this week through cooperation between the National Intelligence Security Agency (NISA) and international partners, with the crackdown set to extend to several parts of the country.

Security forces in Somalia have been working closely with the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) troops and those from US Africa Command, targeting hideouts of the militants who are seeking to overthrow the fragile UN-backed federal government of Somalia.

According to the state media, six Al-Shabaab terrorists were killed at Buq-aqable within the Hiiran region during an operation waged by NISA and international forces. The US Africa Command usually plays a key role in providing aerial support.

"NISA and international allies eliminate 6 Al-Shabaab ring leaders, in Buq-aqable, Hiiraan on Sunday. The terrorists had been terrorizing and burdening the Somali people for years," read a statement from the state media.

The second phase of operations against Al-Shabaab is set to target Jubaland and Southwest states, where the militants have headquarters situated in Jilib town within Middle Jubba. The al-Shabaab usually targets security officers and innocent civilians.

On Tuesday, the government of Somalia also closed several WhatsApp groups associated with Al-Shabaab, in a new strategy geared towards ending the era of misinformation. The militants use both traditional and social media platforms to spread propaganda, hindering the fight against the militants.

Besides the media platforms, the government has also closed several mobile money transfer firms and bank accounts associated with the militants. Al-Shabaab runs a budget of close to $120 million annually, from which $24 million is used in the purchase of sophisticated weapons.


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