Somali gov’t, al-Shabab both claim success in their operations
Somali soldiers — backed by international partners and local clan militias — have killed upwards of 350 al-Shabab militants and wounded dozens more in different operations in the country’s south and central regions, the country’s government has said, a claim denied by the Islamist militant group.
According to Somali officials, the Somali National Army carried out operations in Mudug in Galmudug State, lower Jubba region in Jubaland State and Hiiraan in Hirshabelle State. Only in Hirshabelle State, more than 200 al-Shabab militants were reportedly killed. “The Somali National Army with the help of the local clan forces and international partners (also) recovered weapons and supplies of medicine and foodstuff from the militants,” Somalia’s Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf Adala said last week. He added that four militant commanders were killed and a number of others with injuries were taken into custody.
Al-Shabab’s military operations spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Muscab spoke to the armed group’s mobile radio station, Al-furqan, and made a counter claim. “Our Mujahidin fighters carried out attacks on apostate soldiers and the backing militias in Lower Juba, Lower Shabelle, middle Shabelle and Hiran regions for the past 24 hours, killing more than 60 of the enemy [government soldiers] and over 40 were injured” Muscab said. The claims of either side could not be independently verified. The Somali government has often expressed gratitude toward international partners without mentioning a particular country. But the United States has been supporting the Somali army in its fight against al-Shabab by providing enhanced training, equipment, and the ability to call for US air support.