Somalia’s government said Saturday that an operation in the country’s Lower and Middle Shabelle region, conducted by the army, backed by locals, killed more than 100 al-Shabab militants.
Speaking to the media in the capital, Mogadishu, Saturday, Somalia’s deputy information minister, Abdirahman Yusuf Omar Adala, said that the operation targeted more than 200 al-Shabab militants, who were gathering for an attack on the Somali military.
He said the operation was conducted by the country’s national army, backed by locals and international partners, and took place on the outskirts of the village of El-Dhere at the border of the Lower and Middle Shabelle regions, killing more than 100 al-Shabab Islamist fighters, including 10 “ringleaders.”
The government said during the operation the army and locals “liberated” El-Dhere village and seized weaponry from the group.
Adala said the army and locals are now chasing the remnants of the Khawarijs, wanted criminals who were ringleaders planning on hurting the people of Middle Shabelle and Hiran were also there.
He also praised the involvement of international partners, who are assisting Somalia’s military from the air during their recent operations in the Horn of African country.
He called on al-Shabab fighters to surrender to the government and stop following what he called the wrong path.
The operation comes a day after the Somali military said it repulsed an al-Shabab attack on a military base in the village of Qayib in Somalia’s Galmudug state, killing scores of militants.
Al-Shabab, which claimed responsibility for the attack, said it killed 43 soldiers and wounded 51 others.
On Wednesday, the Somali government said it killed 49 al-Shabab Islamists after an operation in the village of Bulo Madino.
Late last week, marking his first 100 days in office, the Somali prime minister said the country’s forces killed more than 600 al-Shabab fighters, wounded 1,200 others and recaptured 68 areas from al-Shabab Islamist militants, who have been fighting the Somali government and AU peacekeeping mission forces since 2007.