Somali military seizes control of Elbur district, a significant stronghold of Al-Shabab

Somali Military Seizes Control Of Elbur District, A Significant Stronghold Of Al-shabab
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Abdulaziz Osman
Saturday August 26, 2023

The Somali government announced a major triumph in its ongoing military offensive against the al-Qaida affiliated group, al-Shabab, by capturing a significant base in central Somalia.

Yesterday, Somalia’s army, in collaboration with security forces from the Galmudug region, successfully entered the historic district of Elbur, located around 400 kilometers (249 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu. The al-Shabab militants hurriedly fled the district in the face of the advancing forces.

General Ibrahim Sheikh Muhyadin, the chief of Somalia’s army, spoke to VOA and revealed that the allied forces are presently engaged in securing the district and dismantling explosive devices planted by the terrorist organization. Muhyadin stated, “Despite their attempts to retaliate, they were unable to withstand our advance and eventually had to retreat.”

‘The nation will achieve peace’

Elbur, situated in the central Somali region of Galgaduud, has served as a stronghold for al-Shabab for almost a decade. Consequently, the capture of this district represents a significant blow to the group. Muhyadin expressed, “The capture signifies that al-Shabab has been vanquished, giving way for peace to prevail in the country.”

Meanwhile, the Somali government reported that at least 32 al-Shabab militants were killed during two separate operations carried out by government forces in collaboration with international partners in the Lower Shabelle region. This information was disclosed through state media.

Fighters seize military base

In a different development, local fighters from the Sool region, located 786 kilometers (488 miles) northeast of Mogadishu, announced that they have successfully captured a significant military base from Northern Somalia, the breakaway republic of Somalia.

According to fighters loyal to SSC-Khatumo, the Gojacade base, situated on the outskirts of Las Anod town, was seized after months of fighting between Northern Somalia forces and SSC fighters. The SSC-Khatumo spokesperson informed VOA that there were casualties on both sides, further asserting that the fighters took possession of weapons and imprisoned dozens of soldiers.

In response, Northern Somalia released a statement indicating that its military withdrew from their positions in the eastern part of the Sool region for “strategic military purposes” and is currently in the process of reorganizing and preparing to counter the enemy. Northern Somalia also mentioned that some of its forces are missing due to difficulties faced in reaching their intended destinations.

The fighting in Las Anod has resulted in the displacement of thousands of individuals, as regional tensions remained high for several months. While the town has been under Northern Somalia control, local leaders in Las-Anod now express their desire to reunite with the federal government of Somalia.

Abdulkadir Abdulle and Abdikarim Olol contributed to this report.