MOGADISHU, Somalia – Several Al-Shabaab militants were killed in fragile Lower Shabelle on Friday, state media reported in ongoing operations targeting the Al-Qaida-linked group which is terrorizing security forces, civilians and even operatives audience in Somalia for decades.
State media say the Somali national army killed 16 al-Shabaab militants in Barire, further weakening the authority of the country, which has suffered insecurity for two years, killing hundreds and more. seriously injured.
Reports indicate that the military was trying to save children from a training camp who were captured and forced to join the terrorist group. SNA troops opened fire and killed the militants as others ran for their safety, security forces said.
“The children have been kidnapped and held in a camp designed to convert them into child soldiers,” said a senior Somali military official who spoke to Axadleby phone from the region on condition of anonymity.
He added that government troops launched the raid to free the children after receiving credible information about the location of the terrorist camp and the activities that had been going on for some time.
There has been no comment from Al-Shabaab on the government’s claim.
Al-Shabaab is known for recruiting young people in addition to equipping them to wage an endless war. Efforts to reduce the rate of recruiting children into the group have often failed, with community leaders always warning against recruiting young people.
Currently, there are nearly 7,000 active combatants in Somalia according to a report released by the United Nations. Most of these fighters are in central and southern Somalia, having deserted towns following sustained attacks against them by security forces.
Last week, the SNA team announced victory against militants in Bas-Shebelle, after several operations carried out mainly by Danab forces, African Union troops and the United States Africa Command. The troops had secured several towns from the militants.
One of the main towns that were liberated from the militants was Janaale and an agriculture-rich town that fell to the security forces in March 2020. The town, located in Lower Shebelle, was a major source of income for Al-Shabaab, who imposed the mighty Zakat.
Elsewhere, SNA troops clashed with Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] in the town of Balad-Hawo on Saturday, reports. The town sits on the porous Kenya-Somalia border and has recently witnessed clashes between the two armies and regional security forces in Jubaland.
Reports indicate fighting erupted between the two military teams when the KDF allegedly opened fire on residents protesting the alleged kidnapping of civilians by the Kenyan army stationed in Mandera, a nearby town near the Gedo region. .
The clashes between the two teams are synonymous as this is the third time since January that they have fought. Previously, the Somali army had accused its Kenyan counterparts of encroachment in addition to supporting the Jubaland regional security team.