Somalia on Saturday claimed more victory against militants al-Shabaab, with officials indicating they had killed more of the fighters in the latest battle.
Somalia Deputy Information Minister Abdurahman Yusuf Al-Adala told a news conference that over 100 fighters had been killed Eel-Dhere Burale, a village situated at the border between Hiran and Middle Shabelle regions in Hirshabelle State, about 155 km north of Mogadishu.
“Local people told us that more than 200 terrorists were in the village ready to attack previously lost territories and those killed included up to 12 horjoogayaal (militants leaders),” said Al-Adala.
Since last month, Somalia officially refers to al-Shabaab as Khawarij, which loosely translates to an evil sect. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has argued that referring to terrorists as al-Shabaab negates the good behavior of most of the youth. Al-Shabaab is Arabic word for youth or young people.
On Saturday, the government official said the operation was jointly carried out by Somali National Army (SNA), the National Intelligence, local vigilantes and Somalia’s international partners
On Friday, the Somali government stated that its forces in Galgadud region in Galmudug State in Central Somalia repelled an attack by fighters loyal to the jihadist group, Al-Shabaab.
“We have killed a good number of the Khawarij Al-Shabaab terrorists,” the Ministry of Information indicated without giving exact number.
The attack occurred at Qayib settlement, a former stronghold of the jihadist group, but taken over by Somali National Army units assisted by local vigilantes, known as ‘Mo’awisley,’ in October.
However, several attempts by Al-Shabaab to retake Qayib settlement were repulsed.
Meanwhile, the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) reported that on Wednesday 15 Al-Shabaab fighters and militant leaders in an operation said to have been supported by Somalia’s international partners.
The operation said to consist of drone assault occurred at Bulo-Madina village in Lower Shabelle region, about 140 km south of Mogadishu. The victims were the survivors of another operation that was waged also in Lower Shabelle region on 23rd of November in which 49 Al-Shabaab militants were killed, according to a government report.
On Thursday, it was confirmed that a previously wounded top Al-Shabaab official died in Jilib town, Middle Juba region.
The senior jihadist named as Mohamed Hassan Omar alias Abu Abdurahman was wounded in a military operation that took place last month in an area between Middle Shabelle and Lower Shablle regions, north of Mogadishu, but transported for treatment to Jilib town, 400 km south of Mogadishu.
In an entirely different account, Al-Shabaab stated, “The sheikh has been suffering over the last few days from an (unidentified) illness and he died last Thursday in the Wilaayda Islaamiga (Islamic province) of Juba.”
Abu Abdurahman is the second senior jihadist killed in the ongoing armed operation against Al-Shabaab over the past two months.
In October, Somalia’s ministry of information stated that Abdullahi Yare better known among Al-Shabaab members as Abdullahi Nadir, one of the co-founders of the Al-Qaeda linked group, was killed in a US airstrike.
Nadir, envisioned to replace the movement’s ailing leader, Ahmed Dirie Abu Ubaidah, was killed in a special operation carried out near Haramka Area in Middle Juba region.
“Abdullahi Nadiir (aka Abdullahi Yare) held various positions within AS (Al-Shabaab). He had $3 million bounty on his head by the US.”