Somalia: SNA, AU forces recapture new areas from Al Shabaab
BELEDWEYNE, Somalia - Somali government forces backed by Djibouti soldiers of AMISOM contingent have recaptured new areas in Hiran province from Al Shabaab militants, Garowe Online reports.
Mohamud Hassan, a senior Somali military commander, told GO that the allied forces took control of Indha-adde, Afar Irdood, El lahelay and Ayrow areas after a major joint offensive against the extremists.
Hassan added that the capture followed an operation by the security forces, noting there was no resistance as Al-Shabaab militants vacated the villages following reports of troops' movement.
"We have inflicted casualties on Al Shabaab during the assault also killed several militants but I cannot verify the number of the fatalities," Hassan said, adding that they will continue the operation.
In the past few weeks, Somali forces and their allied AU and U.S. troops have intensified air and ground attacks against Al-Shabaab strongholds ahead of an expected offensive to root out the insurgents.
U.S. military has also increased airstrikes in southern Somalia in the recent months, targeting Al Shabaab and Pro-Islamic State militants in Galgala mountains in the country's northeastern state of Puntland.