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Somali government confirms Sakow raid, affirms key Al-Shabaab leaders felled

Storyline:National News, Security

US trained Somali forces have killed several Al-Shabab fighters including senior commanders and Al-Shabaab technical vehicles destroyed during covert operations in southern Somalia, Defense ministry said Tuesday.

In a statement to newsrooms, the Defence Ministry confirmed its elite forces carried out clandestine operations in Sakow town inflicting heavy losses on the militant group in a sustained campaign to secure major regions of the country ahead of the September polls.

“Somali commandos hit Al-Shabaab targets in Sakow town, killing several fighters including senior members of the group,” the statement dated August 16 noted.

The development comes amid reports Al-Shabaab leader Abu Ubaida and the group’s spokesman Abu Muscaib may have been eliminated in the raid. Somali government has not however made reference to the names and neither has it indicated the dates of the raid.

Sources have however told Goobjoog News the raids took place between 10 and 13th of this month.

Meanwhile a US state department official told BBC Somali Monday that indeed US with Somali elite squad were involved in operations in Middle Jubba.

Our National Security correspondent says if confirmed, the death of Al-Shabaab leader including what reports said was the highest decision making unit, the Shura Council could deal a huge blow to the militant group which has been rocked by defiance from its members which declared last year allegiance to ISIL. The ISIL affiliate was however largely wiped out in a purge across various regions of Somalia.

Ubeidah took over the group’s leadership in September 2014 when then leader Ahmed Abdi Godane killed in a US airstrike.