Somalia: Over 100 militants surrender to Federal Govt forces, scores killed
HUDUR, Somalia, August 5, 2015 (Garowe Online/VOA Somali Service)-Over hundred Al Shabaab fighters have surrendered to Somali government forces and African Union peacekeepers in Bakol region of southwestern Somalia according to security official on Wednesday.
The commander of Somali National Army (SNA)’s 8th division Abdirahman Mohamed Osman (Tima Adde) has confirmed the surrender of 120 militants and accomplices to VOA Somali Service.
“It’s true [that militants deserted]. That’s why we’ve arrived in Garasweyne, they include Al Shabaab fighters, supporters and well-known Al Shabaab elder Ali, “ Tima Adde told VOA’s Hussein Barre Adan during Wednesday’s interview.
When asked about the unprecedented defection of militants, he told that significant military setbacks on the frontline forced youths fighting alongside Al Shabaab to reconsider options.
“The military offensives by allied forces saw 15 villages in Hudur countryside liberated,” Somali National army commander said of the victory they secured against Al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab group.
Ethiopian attack helicopter on Monday made strikes against a secret meeting in Dalandol area.
“[Dalandol] airstrike inflicted heavy losses on [Al Shabaab], intelligence tip-off indicated that they were leaving the meeting at the time. We destroyed five vehicles, two were seized, we killed 50 militants and 26 AK-47 rifles were confiscated by [the army],” he added.
Meanwhile, situation is gradually returning to normalcy in areas where the fighting has been taking place over the last few weeks.
On Monday afternoon, militants lost strategic El-Dher and El-Ali villages in Hiran region to allied forces.
A few bastions in central Somalia are still acquiesced to Al Shabaab rule.
Somali government forces backed by AU peacekeepers made major gains in Gedo and Bay regions by liberating Bardhere and Dinsor from militants last month.