Somalia

Somali soldiers kill 47 Al-Shabaab terrorists in attack on El-Dheer town

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The Somali soldiers continues to pursue the fleeing militants, some of whom are reportedly wounded.

Fourty-seven Al-Shabaab militants and five government soldiers were killed in Saturday’s militant attack on El-Dheer town, the Somali government reported in a press statement.

The Somali National Army (SNA) and local forces, acting on detailed intelligence about an impending attack by Al-Shabaab militants, launched a decisive defensive operation in El-Dheer district, Galgaduud region, resulting in a significant victory over the attackers.

In a statement, a government spokesperson said, "Our forces, with precise intelligence and unwavering bravery, have successfully repelled an attack by Al-Shabaab militants on El-Dheer district. This operation is a testament to the strength and resilience of our armed forces and local fighters."

The initial clash occurred on the outskirts of the town where prepared SNA and local fighters confronted the militants. The ensuing battle led to the death of nine Al-Shabaab fighters. The remaining attackers, having been decisively defeated, retreated and scattered in various directions.

Subsequent operations by the local forces and SNA targeted the retreating militants in a village between the Ali Yabaal area and the district centre. In this follow-up engagement, 18 militants were killed, and several vehicles and other equipment were seized.

An airstrike in the Ali Yabaal area also targeted the remnants of the Al-Shabaab group. Preliminary reports indicate that over 20 militants, including key leaders, were eliminated in this strike.

"The bodies of the militants remain scattered across the battlefields, evidencing the scale of their defeat," the spokesperson added.

The total initial casualty figures show that 47 Al-Shabaab members were killed. Five brave members of the SNA and local forces, who sacrificed their lives to repel the aggressors, were also killed in the operation.

"We honour the ultimate sacrifice made by our soldiers and local heroes who defended their homeland with unparalleled courage," the statement said.

The SNA continues to pursue the fleeing militants, some of whom are reportedly wounded.

Somali government forces and local fighters came under a significant assault from Al-Shabaab militants on Saturday, according to journalist Harun Maruf, who cited multiple sources.

Al-Shabaab reportedly breached at least one of the camps. It remains unclear whether the soldiers stationed there retreated to another location or were overpowered by the militants.

Reinforcement troops arriving from Masagaway, a town south of El-Dheer, ambushed Al-Shabaab fighters and inflicted losses on the militant group, as confirmed by both government sources and the Ministry of Defense. Lieutenant Abukar Mohamed Hassan, a spokesperson for the ministry, highlighted the critical role these reinforcements played in the fight.

The attack on El-Dheer was anticipated, with security observers warning for months that Al-Shabaab might target El-Dheer and Harardhere, both of which host forward operating bases.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud visited these towns in early April to show solidarity with the forces stationed there.

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