Top al-Shabaab leader killed in Somalia as military operations escalate
MOGADISHU, Somalia – A senior al-Shabaab leader was killed in Somalia on Friday, the army said, in the latest development, proving the national army’s ability to take over the security responsibilities of the mission forces. African Union.
In a statement, the military said the top leader was killed in Middle Shabelle, one of the areas prone to Al-Shabaab attacks. The military has been operating in the region for several months as it seeks to consolidate Al-Shabaab bases.
The top al-Shabaab leader has been identified as Nuh Dhagool, who was leading the operation to extort the local population to fund the group’s activities in town. Al-Shabaab imposes heavy taxes on residents to support its operations.
“The terrorist was the leader of the extortion in the coastal area,” the army said in a brief statement, without giving much details about the operation, which specifically targeted the top al-Shabaab leader.
The group, which is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government, uses parts of southern and central Somalia to plan and lead terrorist attacks, steal humanitarian aid, extort the local population to fund its operations and harbor radical terrorists.
Extremists have recently stepped up their attacks on the African Union and Somali forces, particularly in Mogadishu, the national capital, targeting their bases, hotels and other public places in Somalia and across the border.
Dhagool’s death comes just hours after SNA troops seized the town of Ba’adweyn in the Mudug region from Al-Shabaab militants. Federal soldiers hoisted Somali flags in the city as they sang patriotic songs in support of the government.
Later this year, the Somali National Army will assume security responsibilities after the full implementation of the Somali Transition Plan. [STP] which will see the exit of the Missionary Forces of the African Union. The country has nearly 22,000 foreign soldiers working in six sectors.