Somalia: Regional Al-Shabaab leader killed in raid
Somalia says it has killed one of Al-Shabaab’s regional leaders and three other members of the extremist group in a raid.
Somalia’s information minister, Abdirahman Omar Osman, announced on Sunday that Al-Shabaab’s senior leader for the Lower Shabelle region, Moalin Osman Abdi Badil, was killed during the raid. The terrorist organisation is yet to comment on the reports.
Al-Shabaab leader killed
“On May 5, the Somali national army killed an Al-Shabaab leader, Moalim Osman Abdi Badil, and three fighters,” the information minister said in a statement on Sunday.
“This will weaken the strength of the terrorists in Lower Shabelle region. It is a victory for the Somali forces and peacemaking.”
The operation comes as part of the country’s renewed efforts to defeat Al-Shabaab, after the terrorist group reestablished itself across much of Somalia in recent years. Somalia’s new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, declared the country a war zone in April, following an election campaign that largely centred around defeating Al-Shabaab.
At his inauguration, the president called on members of the group to surrender in exchange for “a good life”, including education and employment.
Information minister Osman took a different tone on Sunday, demanding members of the group leave the country immediately.
“Leave Al-Shabaab now. Defect, as many of your brothers are beginning to do,” he said. “It is your only chance to be a part of Somalia’s future, a peaceful and prosperous future for you and your families.”
Somalia isn’t alone in stepping up its efforts to oust Al-Shabaab from the country. The US are also increasing its involvement in the nation’s security crisis with the US deploying troops in Somalia for the first time since 1994.
Sunday’s raid came a matter of days after a US Navy SEAL was killed during an operation against the Al-Shabaab – less than a month after the US deployed dozens of troops in Somalia. Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken, 38, is the first US troops to be killed in Somalia since the infamous “Black Hawk Down” incident in 1993. He had served 15 years in the US Navy, earning seven medals for his accomplishments in various operations.
Featred image: YouTube