MOGADISHU, Somalia – A top al-Shabaab intelligence chief was killed on Wednesday in a special operation carried out by US-trained Danab forces, several military sources confirmed in the latest significant battle against the al-Qaeda-linked group that controls large parts of rural southern and central Somalia.
Since March this year, the Somali National Army has [SNA] contingents with the help of AU forces and those of the US Africa Command have fought with the militants, leading to massive gains across the country, the first in so many years. The operations have been specially carried out in the Shabelle and Jubba regions.
Military sources told Axadlethat Abdulaziz Awoowe, an intelligence chief working on the deadly Amniyat wing, who also doubles as an explosive expert, was killed in Leego, a city that has been under the control of al-Shabaab militants after a covert operation. in the region.
For several months, military sources confirmed, the militant has been under surveillance by security forces after being found to be one of the most trusted Al-Shabaab commanders. During his reign, sources said the militant recruited many young people to the network and participated in arming them.
Abdulaziz Awoowe is also accused of conducting lethal operations in Lower Shebelle against security forces, senior officials and civilians believed to be SNA spies. During his reign, it turned out that many militants who had expressed interest in shortcomings were executed.
The intelligence team is one of the wings of Al-Shabaab, which is planning operations and carrying out massive attacks. Al-Shabaab leader Ahmed Omar Diriye is believed to be the wing’s coordinator, particularly in Mogadishu following the elimination of Muse Moalimuu, who was executed by militants in March following a disagreement.
Leego City will be the latest to fall to government forces in what could be a significant achievement, as the military has already claimed victory against the militants in the fragile Lower Shebelle region. Military Chief Yusuf Rageh said last week that government troops were in charge of the region.
His death comes barely two months after another Amniyat commander, an Abdulkadir Commandos, was killed in a similar operation carried out in Lower Shebelle, where Danab forces combined operations with the US African Command, leading to his death.
In a statement, the U.S. Africa Command described him as a “dangerous operator” who also “constructed” revenue collection from innocent civilians. Shortly after his death, al-Shabaab militants carried out another attack on a U.S. military outpost in Janay Abdalla, ca. 50 km west of Kismayo and killed two Danab soldiers and wounded a US soldier.
Al-Shabaab has struggled to control the Somali government, which was first installed by the UN. For 14 years, the group has masterminded deadly attacks both in Somalia and across the border, with Kenya being the hardest hit in the cowardly attacks, particularly in the northeast and coastal strip.
Elsewhere, a huge explosion was heard Thursday in the Somali capital Mogadishu with initial reports that a suicide bomber blew up the Black Sea region. Details of the attack remain sparse, but the al-Qaeda-linked group is linked to such attacks.
At one point, the capital was under the command of Al-Shabaab before being flushed out after massive operations by the Somali National Army and the African Union mission forces in 2011. But despite relative security in the city, the militants have often sneaked into the city and carried out dangerous attacks targeting mostly security forces and civilians.