Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – In a joint operation on Friday night, a team of elite intelligence agents and local police in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, seized a weapons cache allegedly buried by the al-Qaeda-linked militant group, al-Shabab.
The National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) said in a statement that a suspected group member was also arrested in the raid, which took place in the Dharkenley district of the city.
An anonymous official from NISA told Caasimada Online that the seized weapons included improvised firearms, bombs, rounds of ammunition, and other explosives.
This operation is a continuation of the government’s efforts to defeat al-Shabab and prevent terrorist activities.
On Friday, Mogadishu administration announced that security forces would begin a house-to-house search for suspected al-Shabab members hiding among civilians.
This announcement comes days after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud made an impassioned appeal to the public to help his government flush out group members, which he called “bedbugs.”
For the past several months, security experts and community leaders in Mogadishu have been calling on government security agencies to step up their operations in the capital to avert pending al-Shabab terror attacks.
President Mohamud declared a “total war” against the group shortly after being elected last year.
Working with local clan fighters, the government has claimed multiple military victories against al-Shabab in the past six months, retaking towns and villages in HirShabelle state that had been controlled for years by the militants.
In those military operations supported by its international partners, the government claimed about 2,000 al-Shabab fighters were killed.
In a tragic incident, one person was killed, and at least six others were injured in a suicide car explosion at a checkpoint controlled by government troops in the central region of Hiran on Saturday. The attack was part of a twin suicide car bombing.
The militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks, targeting military bases in Jalalaqsi and Bulobarde.
The suicide car bombing comes as government forces and allied clan militias have launched a major offensive against al-Shabab since August. The group has retaliated with deadly attacks after being driven out of territories.
According to a local shopkeeper in Jalalaqsi, a suicide car bomb exploded at a checkpoint near the bridge, resulting in one death and six injuries.
Government authorities were not immediately available for comment, but witnesses reported that government forces attempted to stop the attackers by firing at the second car carrying explosives.
Despite past government offensives, al-Shabab, which has been waging a deadly insurgency war against the government of Somalia since 2007 to enforce its strict interpretation of Islamic law, has regrouped and returned to areas where the army cannot maintain control.