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Somalia: Al-Shabab spokesman wounded in operation, says army radio

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia – The State-owned media reported that the spokesman of Al-Shabab, Al-Qaeda's most powerful ally in East Africa has been injured in military operation last Sunday, Garowe Online reports.

Somali National News Agency reported that Ali Mohamud Rageh, known as (Ali Dheere) "sustained critical injuries" in a planned raid by the US-trained Somali special forces in Lower Shabelle region.

Somali National Army Radio, citing unnamed military official said 17 extremists were killed and 25 others, including the group’s spokesman, wounded during the August 11 operation in Shaam village.

The area lies between Bariire and Awdheegle, about 70 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu.

The armed forces’ mouthpiece radio channel carried a message that the spokesman was admitted to a hospital in Kuntuwarey district, the main Al-Shabab stronghold in the region, where he is being treated.

Al-Shabab, however, did not comment on the report.

Shortly after the news has come out, Al-Shabab launched a massive attack on Somali military base in Awdheegle town on Wednesday morning that caused heavy casualties claimed by both sides.

The group said it killed 50 soldiers in the assault, a claim that was rejected by Somali army’s infantry chief, General Odowa Yusuf, who confirmed that they have averted 2 car bombings targeting the base.

Al Shabab and government officials routinely give different versions and casualty figures for attacks.

The agriculturally-rich town which once served as a logistic hub for Al-Shabab was recaptured by Somali troops backed by the African Union soldiers early this week following a joint operation.