Senior Al-Shabaab leaders killed in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - An operation waged by the Somali National Army [SNA] has left three Al-Shabaab militants dead in Somalia, state media confirmed, following the commencement of the follow-up military exercises in central regions where President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been visiting.
The Ministry of Information confirmed that the operation was conducted in Galmadug state, where the Somali National Army has been combing after a successful first phase of operations a few months ago, which left over 3,000 militants dead, including those across the borders in HirShabelle.
The operation, which took place last night in West El-lahelay, targeted Olol Ali Guled, who was the head of the al-Shabaab’s insurgent militia in Galmudug. Shuuke Ali Dheeg and Isse Barre, the two other wanted al-Shabaab members, were also eliminated, state media reports.
According to the Ministry of Information, the operation was “professionally planned and executed” and it “broke the back of all terrorists, especially those hiding in Galmudug”. The three al-Shabaab leaders were behind several criminal activities in the region, including attacks on civilians and security forces, the statement read.
The elimination of the three senior leaders comes at the time a few military officers are facing trial in court martial after it emerged that they abandoned the frontlines against the wish of commanders. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been moving around the country pleading with the military to stay put.
The president has revealed that he is targeted by the militants but vowed to stay afloat until the group is defeated in the multi-agency security operations. The US Africa Command and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] troops have been integral in the fight against Al-Shabaab.
Elsewhere, authorities reported an Al-Shabaab attack on Thursday morning at Nur Dugle village in the Middle Shabelle region. The militants started off the attack with a car bomb. According to a government source, local forces have ‘repulsed’ the attack.
The militants are fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed federal government of Somalia, but the concerted effort from the military has been integral in preventing the state from collapsing. Somalia has projected that the group will be completely eliminated within the next 12 months.