Somalia: Al-Shabaab suffers losses in latest military crackdown
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Al-Shabaab militants on Wednesday suffered massive losses in Lower Shabelle, the government reported, in the latest crackdown waged by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who has declared war against the group which has been terrorizing innocent civilians.
The group has been under siege in interior parts of the country particularly in central and southern Somalia, ceding control of several strategic towns where it has been extorting locals besides instilling their authority by offering services at the detriment of the Somali government.
According to the Ministry of Information, over 49 militants were killed following an airstrike at Lower Shabelle, following an operation by the Somali National Army [SNA] which was aided by the local militia and international partners. The United States has been contributing to the efforts to degrade the militants.
The airstrike was activated by the US Africa Command which was backing the Danab Special forces according to the government. The command is yet to confirm the airstrike but it does so after verification of the casualties for the purpose of accurate tabulation for record-keeping purposes.
“The militants were killed in the Bulo Madina area, where they had converged to plan terrorist activities against the Somali people,” read the statement by the Ministry of Information, which did not delve much into the details awaiting confirmation by the US Africa Command.
The operation also successfully destroyed the group’s armor and armored vehicles used by the militants to carry out their terrorist activities. This comes after Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre reported that for the last three months, over 500 Al-Shabaab militants have been killed across the country.
Hamza Barre further said the crackdown has left almost 1000 Al-Shabaab militants badly injured as the government seeks to stamp authority in strategic villages. The Al-Shabaab militants who are willing to defect are always accommodated by the government upon going through rehabilitation.