Senior Al-Shabaab leader killed in Somalia as military Ops intensify
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A senior Al-Shabaab leader was on Friday killed in Somalia, the military said, in the latest development, which proves the ability of the national army in retaking security responsibilities from the Africa Union Mission Forces.
In a statement, the military said the senior leader was killed in Middle Shabelle, one of the regions which are prone to Al-Shabaab attacks. The military has been carrying operations in the region for a couple of months as it seeks to consolidate bases from Al-Shabaab.
The senior Al-Shabaab leader was identified as Nuh Dhagool, who was leading the operation to extort the local populace to fund the group's activities in town. The Al-Shabaab imposes hefty taxes on locals to sustain its operations.
"The terrorist was the head of extortion in the coastal area," the military said in a brief statement, without giving many details about the operation, which specifically targeted the senior Al-Shabaab leader.
The group, which fights to topple the internationally-backed government, uses portions of southern and central Somalia to plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local populace to finance its operations and shelter, radical terrorists.
The extremists have recently increased their attacks against African Union and Somali forces, especially in Mogadishu, the national capital, targeting their bases, hotels, and other public places in Somalia and across the border.
Dhagool's death comes just hours after the SNA troops seized Ba'adweyn town in the Mudug region from the Al-Shabaab militants. The federal soldiers hoisted Somali flags in the town as they burst into patriotic songs in support of the government.
Later this year, the Somali National Army will take over security responsibilities upon full implementation of the Somali Transition Plan [STP] which will see the exit of the Africa Union Mission Forces. The country has close to 22,000 foreign soldiers who are working in six sectors.