Somalia army downs over 40 militants, anti-aircraft autocannon destroyed

Soldiers in the Somali ‘National’ Army complete their training (UN Photo Library).

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA] in coordination with the Somali National Army [SNA] eliminated over 40 Al-Shabaab militants, state media reported, in the latest operation targeting the militants, who have been engaging in retaliatory attacks across the country.

According to state media, the operation by the multi-agency security forces targeted the militants across Farabaako area, just south of Xawaadley in central Somalia. The operation was activated a day after Tuesday's attack against civilians in the village, a move which was seen as a provocation.

State media noted that besides the death of over 40 Al-Shabaab militants, the Al-Qaida-linked group also has their anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannon [ZU] destroyed during the sophisticated operation against the militants.

"Over 40 Alshabab terrorists were killed and anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannon [ZU] destroyed in a joint operation carried by Somali National Army and NISA in the farmlands near Hawadley village in Middle Shabelle with support of Somalia’s international security partners," state media noted.

Reports indicate that Somalia's international partners were involved in the crackdown. For the last seven months, the US Africa Command, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] and the local militia have been directly engaging in operations against Al-Shabaab across the country.

So far, casualty figures have not been independently confirmed, but Al-Shabaab usually disputes the numbers given by the government after such operations. Photos by state media show troops operating in the area, targeting some of the areas which have not been combed for the sake of civilians.

The country has increased the intensity against the Al-Shabaab extortionists across the country, targeting even their revenue sources. Recently, over 250 bank accounts and 70 mobile money transfer firms were closed over close association with the Al-Shabaab group.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has insisted that he will not give up on the Al-Shabaab war, noting that there is a need for the members of the international community to chip in and assist the country to handle violent extremism which has derailed development in the country.


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