Saturday January 21, 2023
More than 40 al-Shabaab terrorists have been killed in an operation in the Middle Shabelle region, the Somali military said on Thursday.At least 10 soldiers, including a senior commander, were killed in that early morning assault, which began with a suicide car bombing and ended after heavy gun battles.
The operation was launched in response to Tuesday’s deadly attack on a military base in Hawadley, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu.
The operation was carried out with intelligence support from Somali spy agency NISA and the country’s international partners, Abdiaziz Ahmed, a security official, told Anadolu.
“We focused on farmlands and areas on the outskirts of Hawadley,” he said, adding that heavy weaponry, including an anti-aircraft twin-barreled autocannon, was also destroyed.
The Somali army, backed by local militias, has been engaged in a sweeping offensive against al-Shabaab since last year, when President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared “all-out war” on the terrorist group.
Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with al-Shabaab and Daesh/ISIS being among the main threats.
The UN has warned of growing instability in the country, issuing periodic reports last year that detailed attacks by al-Shabaab and pro-Daesh/ISIS terror groups.
There were at least 1,518 civilian casualties – 651 killed and 867 injured – in terror attacks in Somalia in 2018, followed by 1,459 – 591 killed and 868 injured – in 2019, according to UN estimates.