2,000+ al-Shabab militants killed in Somalia in 4 months, says PM

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre announced that over 2,000 al-Shabab militants had been killed in the past four months of operations against the group. 

He made the announcement during a meeting with top security officials, including the intelligence chief and military and police commanders, on the security developments in the country and the arms embargo on Somalia.

During the meeting, Prime Minister Barre stated that the government is committed to eliminating al-Shabab and that time is running out for the militants as the offensive is preparing to open more fronts. 

These developments come on the heels of a New Year’s address by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, in which he promised to strengthen and equip the National Army Forces to accelerate the ongoing offensive against al-Shabab in central and southern Somalia. 

Unfortunately, the efforts to defeat al-Shabab were overshadowed by a tragic event on Wednesday, when at least 19 people were killed in a double suicide bombing attack targeting a military facility in the Mahaas district of the Hiran region. 

The facility was located in the heart of the government’s offensive against al-Shabab. Al-Shabab claimed the attack, and witnesses described the blasts as occurring near a restaurant not far from a district administration building, with the explosions being heard throughout the town. 

Among those killed were both security forces and civilians, including soldiers and journalists who were embedded with the military.

In addition, the Prime Minister announced that the government would make an effort to remove the arms embargo on Somalia by establishing an executive and technical committee to work on implementing the planned targets. The committee aims to lift the arms embargo within a year. 

With the support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), the Somali government has been conducting operations against al-Shabab to eliminate the group.

These operations have resulted in territorial gains, but the group remains a significant threat.