The government of Somalia reported on Thursday that over 40 Al-Shabaab fighters had been killed in the Middle Shabelle region by Somali forces, the most recent fighting in a months-long effort to reduce the hold of the Islamist terrorist group.
Al Shabaab, an affiliate of al Qaeda, routinely carries out deadly attacks in the nation’s capital Mogadishu and other locations in an effort to impose its view of Islamic rule.
Nine people were killed on Sunday when al Shabaab broke into a tightly guarded hotel in Mogadishu close to the presidential mansion.
In a coordinated campaign to remove the terrorists’ hold on a sizable area of the Horn of Africa nation, the government, backed by clan militias and African Union troops, claims to have killed more than 600 Al-Shabaab members and retaken 68 communities over the past three months.
According to officials, Al Shabaab’s restrictions on foreign relief delivery have exacerbated the effects of the worst drought in four decades, putting Somalia on the verge of famine.
“The security forces and our international allies killed around 40 al Shabaab fighters and wounded several others,” Somalia’s information ministry said in a statement.
The ministry described it as a planned operation in a forest near the village of Ali Foldhere in Middle Shabelle on Wednesday night, but al Shabaab and one clan fighter said the fighting arose from an attack by the militants.
On November 22, News Central reported that an Al-Shabaab gunman attacked a military base in Somalia, killing at least three Kenyan peacekeepers.
Before being shot dead, the gunman wounded five additional soldiers with his indiscriminate rifle fire. Days later, the al-Shabab armed group attacked a hotel used by government officials in the Somali capital of Mogadishu, according to police and government officials, with security officials saying the gunmen were wearing “suicide” vests.
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