7 militants killed in security operation in southern Somalia

Somali security forces, backed by the Southwestern state army, killed seven al-Shabab fighters and injured five others on Saturday in an operation in Bardale town in the southern region of Bay, an official confirmed on Sunday. Mohamed Isak, governor of Bardale town, told journalists that the joint operation started when the army got intelligence that the militants were hiding to plan further attacks in the area.

“There was intense confrontation between the army and the militants in Bardale town, but our forces subdued the militants, killing seven of them including a senior leader, who was in charge of finance and we also injured five others,’’ Isak said. He noted that a government soldier was killed and three others injured during the confrontation. The latest operation came barely two days after Somali National Army (SNA) killed five al-Shabab militants, including two senior leaders, in another operation in Janale town in the country’s southern region of Lower Shabelle. Meanwhile, the Somalia National Army (SNA) said its forces have captured al-Shabab territories in Mubarak district of Awdhagle in the southern region.

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The SNA said in a statement on Sunday that the areas were captured during a sting military operation to liberate areas still under al-Shabab control. The army said the operation, which was carried out on Saturday, also saw the forces removing landmines planted by the extremist group in the area. The army said it will intensify military operations to ensure they flush out all al-Shabab remnants in the areas that are still under their control. Somali army backed by African Union Mission in Somalia forced al-Shabab extremists out of the capital Mogadishu in August 2011. But the militants still hold swathes of rural areas in southern and central Somalia, conducting ambushes and planting landmines as they stage attacks in the city and elsewhere.

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