Gov’t Forces Kill 17 al-Shabab Fighters in Southern Somalia
Somali special forces killed 17 fighters from the al-Qaida-linked Islamic insurgence group al-Shabab and wounded several others during operations in the southern region on Wednesday, officials said on Thursday. Nine al-Shabab hideouts were destroyed in the southern and southwestern states, a spokesman for the Somalia National Army (SNA) told Radio Mogadishu. “Seventeen al-Shabab terrorists were killed and nine of their hideouts destroyed in special security operations carried out by SNA commanders in Somalia’s Jubaland and South West states in the past 24 hours,” the radio reported. The operation was part of an intensified campaign against al-Shabab, which the Somali government says is responsible for sporadic attacks that have targeted African Union and government bases and public places in the capital, Mogadishu, and across the country. On Sunday, long-delayed presidential elections are to be held in Mogadishu, which borders the South West State of Somalia. Al-Shabab armed fighters have staged a series of attacks in a bid to disrupt the electoral process.