SNA Forces: We had intelligence on El-Dheer foiled Al-Shabaab attack

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - The Somali National Army (SNA) had prior intelligence on the foiled attack in the El-Dheer District in central regions, a senior commander told state media, noting that the Alshabaab terrorists have since been neutralized after the pre-dawn raid.

The militants had pulled an ambush on soldiers manning strategic areas in the district but their attempts were thwarted by vigilant officers, the commander said. Dozens of militants were killed after the SNA soldiers responded, the official added.

The army had the information of the attack coming their way an prepared to defend their base using tactics and plans to eliminate the enemy, state media reports. The intelligence was gathered by civilians who reported about the plans.

One of the commanders of the Somali army based in El-Dheer district told SONNA that the army received information regarding the attack and prepared for an offensive fight against the Al-Shabaab militants.

Earlier, the Al-Shabaab militant group, through a telegram message, claimed “overrunning” government military camps around the town but the claim has not been independently verified by the media.

The Federal government forces and local fighters initially captured the town from al-Shabaab in January 2023 during the height of military operations. Troops retreated from El-Dheer in August last year after the Awsweyne debacle but returned there in December.

Saturday's attempted raid in a military base is the first in as many months as the country strives to stabilize after tears of turmoil. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has insisted that Somalia will effectively eliminate al-Shabaab in the coming months.

The US Africa Command and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) is assisting the national army in stabilization missions. The group has lost strategic towns and rural areas in the last two years following the activation of the first phase of operations against them.

GAROWE ONLINE

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