MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) – At least 40 al-Shabaab members were killed and several others wounded in a fresh operation in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region on Thursday, authorities said.
The operation in the rural area of the Mahaday town was conducted by the Somali army, intelligence and security agency, and supported by the international partners, according to the Information Ministry.
The fresh operation came days after al-Shabaab, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group, attacked the Villa Rays hotel near the presidential palace in the capital Mogadishu that killed at least eight civilians.
On Wednesday, Somali Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre said the government has waged a multi-pronged assault on al-Shabaab militarily, financially and ideologically.
“The security operation has thus far neutralized thousands of Kharijite combatants – 600 killed and 1,200 wounded within three months,” he said.
The government, Barre said, has for the first time succeeded in forming common ground among major religious scholars in countering the militant ideologies of all terrorist groups.
Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was reelected for the second term in office earlier this year, declared an “all-out war” against al-Shabaab.
The government forces backed by local clan militias have liberated large swathes of territories from the group.