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Somali military 'kills six Al-Shabaab militants' in operation

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Danab forces on Thursday seized control of a strategic highway in Somalia, a move which could help open supply routes in the country, following years of Al-Shabaab intimidation and harassment along the route, something which almost made it impossible for suppliers to reach the intended population.

Danab forces seized Lafaha-Raga highway which runs from the strategic port of Kismayo after hours of an intensive gunfight with the Al-Shabaab militants. The highway has been under the militants for several years now before Danab's special operation on Thursday.

Gen. Ismail Abdimalik, the Commander 16th Unit for Danaab, said the operation left at least six militants dead. The operation, he added, lasted for several hours before a section of militants fled off after being completely subdued by the special forces, who eventually seized the highway.

He said that the victory will open the southern part of the country after years of Al-Shabaab control. No Danaab soldier was injured or killed during the incident, the general said, adding that the troops will continue fumigating the country until stability is attained.

"It is one of the incidents that has yet again made us proud," the general said, adding that, "our troops fought with dignity to rescue the area from the militants. We've finally taken over the area and the troops will be around for some time until normalcy is restored".

He added: "We killed some good number of militants and through counting, we establish that six of them died on the spot. Those who couldn't manage the fight ran away, and we are in the process of pursuing them. We shall do this until we put an order in the country."

He thanked the local community for cooperation, adding that the war against Al-Shabaab can only be won if stakeholders work together. The local community, he added, has a responsibility of sharing with the troops on the whereabouts of Al-Shabaab for swift actions.

The general also said the Somali National Army [SNA] will continue working closely with partners to restore hope and dignity for the people of Somalia, who have been subjected to torture and intimidation for several months. He noted that more operations will be launched in the region.

"We are thankful to our partners for continued support. They have been very supportive and we are working hard to ensure that the militants are wiped out completely. The operations will continue across the country until we restore order and dignity to Somalia," he added.

Danab forces are trained by the United States of America army and currently, there are close to 1,500 soldiers who have graduated from the Balligodle army base. The US has been working closely with the Federal Government of Somalia to ensure that the country is rescued from the Al-Shabaab.

But just hours after the victory against the militants, the Al-Shabaab hit a military base in Mogadishu on Saturday in an attack that left nearly 10 SNA soldiers dead. The Al-Shabaab militants took responsibility for the attack in a statement published by their friendly media outlets.

A suicide car bomb was driven to the 12th April military base in Mogadishu before an explosion took place. Over 15 other people were injured from the explosion and are currently undergoing treatment at various hospitals within Mogadishu and its environs.


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