VOA AFRICA|MOGADISHU: The Somali military says the country’s national army, with the help of local civilians, has conducted a planned military operation against the Islamist militant group al-Shabab in the Middle Shabelle region, killing at least 50 al-Shabab militants.
A statement issued by Somalia’s national army command Saturday says the army’s planned operation against the militants took place in the village of Darul-nicim in the country’s Middle Shabelle province.
The village on the outskirts of the recently liberated strategic town of Adan Yabal, 217 kilometers north of the capital, Mogadishu, has seen an increase in military activity in the last three weeks.
“The Somali National Army, with the help of local people, have killed around 50 Khawarij in an operation in the village of Darul-Nicim in the Middle Shabelle region and other villages under Adan Yabal district,” said a short statement by the army posted on Twitter on Saturday evening.
Khawarij is a term the Somali government uses to refer to the Islamist militant group al-Shabab.
The operation comes a day after Somalia’s deputy information minister, Abdirahman Yusuf Omar Al-adala, said the army had killed at least 88 al-Shabab fighters in the same province within 48 hours.
Meanwhile, the governor of Somalia’s central region of Hiran, Ali Jeyte Osman, pledged a bounty of $30,000 to any al-Shabab fighter who kills al-Shabab spokesperson Ali Mohamud Rage, known as Ali Dhere.
Jeyte spoke to Somali security personnel and local clan militias Saturday after visiting several villages on the outskirts of the central town of Beledweyne, the provincial capital of Hiran region. He said the government would give a $10,000 reward for every al-Shabab militant killed.
The Somali military has recaptured a large part of the central states of Galmudug and Hirshabelle from the militant group.
The Horn of Africa nation has been fighting al-Shabab since 2007. Militants have been carrying out deadly attacks on government troops and African Union peacekeeping forces in Somalia for more than a decade.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was reelected earlier this year, had announced an “all-out war” against al-Shabab.