Home News In English Somalia Says Operation Against Al-Shabab Killed Nearly 40 Militants

Somalia Says Operation Against Al-Shabab Killed Nearly 40 Militants

by Laacib

The Somali government says that a new military operation against al-Shabab killed nearly 40 militants in Lower Shabelle region.

In a statement by the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, the government said the operation was conducted by the Somali National Army and “international partners,” a reference to the involvement of airstrikes by the countries supporting Somali forces.

The operation took place in the villages of Baldooska and Baghdad, approximately 30 kilometers north of Mogadishu. The statement did not specify when the operation took place, but local sources said it occurred Monday evening.

The operation came after government troops received information that militants have been mobilizing in the area to conduct attacks against the public, the statement said.

Al-Shabab affiliated media also reported on the strikes. One al-Shabab website claimed the strike in Baghdad village killed 18 civilians, including seven children. Al-Shabab media also published purported pictures of the dead allegedly killed in the strike. VOA could not independently verify claims about casualties by the two sides.

Contacted by VOA Somali, Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf al-Adala said the government is checking reports of civilian casualties.

A Somali regional official who could not be identified because he is not allowed to speak to the media told VOA Somali that both ground and air operations targeting al-Shabab have been taking place in the area since Monday.

Turkey and the United States have been conducting airstrikes against al-Shabab militants. A spokesperson for AFRICOM Kelly Cahalan told VOA that the United States did not conduct the latest strike in Somalia. The last strike conducted by USAFRICOM was on March 10, Cahalan added. Without providing proof, al-Shabab’s media alleged a Turkish drone was behind the strike in Baghdad.


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