Government says 19 high-ranking terrorists among those killed in recent military operations in south-central regions
The Somali government on Wednesday said that it killed 1,650 al-Shabaab terrorists and injured more than 550 others in the last two months during several military operations in the south-central regions.
At least 19 high-ranking terrorists were among those killed in the recent operations in the Horn of Africa country, according to documents published by Somali National News Agency (SONNA) on Wednesday.
It is the biggest number of al-Shabaab casualties announced since the current military operations against the group began late last year.
The announcement comes a day after the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) said that its Burundi and Uganda contingent had carried out a joint military offensive with the Somali National Army, inflicting heavy casualties on al-Shabaab terrorists.
The operation took place at Ali Foldhere in the south-central province of Middle Shabelle.
The operation was followed by ground and artillery offensives to flush out the terrorists from their hideouts in the Ali Foldhere Forest.
The forest has been a strategic location for terrorists where they plan deadly attacks and conceal ammunition, including explosives-laden vehicles, according to the ATMIS Force Commander Lt. Gen. Sam Okiding.
Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with the main threats emanating from al-Shabaab and the Daesh/ISIS terror groups.
Since 2007, the al-Shabaab terror group has been fighting the Somali government and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), a multidimensional mission authorized by the African Union and mandated by the United Nations Security Council.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group has increased attacks since Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was elected for a second term last year, declared an “all-out war” on al-Shabaab.