Seven militants killed in security operation in southern Somalia

Somali military officers attend a training programme by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at their military base in Mogadishu, Somalia November 1, 2017. Picture taken November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Feisal Omar - RC13D84CADA0
Somali military officers attend a training programme at their base in Mogadishu, November 1, 2017. (Photo: REUTERS/Feisal Omar)

Somali security forces backed by the Southwestern state army killed seven al-Shabaab fighters and injured five others on Saturday in an operation in Bardale town in the southern region of Bay, an official confirmed on Sunday.

Mohamed Isak, governor of Bardale town, told journalists that the joint operation started when the army got intelligence that the militants were hiding in the area to plan further attacks in the area.

“There was intense confrontation between the army and the militants in Bardale town, but our forces subdued the militants killing seven of them including a senior leader who was in charge of finance and we also injured five others,” Isak said.

He noted that a government soldier was killed and three others injured during the confrontation.

The latest operation came barely two days after Somali National Army (SNA) killed five al-Shabaab militants including two senior leaders in another operation in Janale town in the country’s southern region of Lower Shabelle.

Meanwhile, the Somalia National Army (SNA) said its forces have captured al-Shabaab territories in Mubarak district of Awdhagle in the southern region.

The SNA said in a statement on Sunday that the areas were captured during a sting military operation to liberate areas still under al-Shabaab control.

The army said the operation which was also carried out on Saturday also saw the forces remove landmines which had been planted by the extremist group in the area.

The army said it will intensify military operations to ensure they flush out all al-Shabaab remnants in the areas which are still under their control.

Somali army backed by African Union Mission in Somalia forced al-Shabaab extremists out of the capital Mogadishu in August 2011, but the militants still hold swathes of rural areas in southern and central Somalia conducting ambushes and planting landmines as they stage attacks in the city and elsewhere.