Somali army forces capture major Al-Shabaab stronghold
MOGADISHU — Somali army forces have launched joint military offensive against major Al Shabaab stonghold in Jamame town, some 70 km (43 miles) north of Kismayu.
The joint offensive was carried out in the town, triggering brief gun fighting between Somali army forces and Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab militants, a witness said.
Gen. Yousuf Hussein, a senior advisor at Somalia’s Jubaland presidential Palace, said the army forces had re-captured major Al-Shabaab stronghold in the town.
Hussein says the military forces had taken control of Bangunu, Maana, Mufo and Kaban areas in the town following joint military operation.
“We have taken all control of Jamame town. The town was a major Al Shabaab stronghold”, he said.
He says the group’s fighters made suddenly withdrawal following Sunday’s operation.
Hussein confirmed five militants had been killed and two soldiers injured during the operation.
The group’s fighters, who are reportedly nearby the town fired several mortar rockets to army soldiers in the town, causing untold number of casualty.
Jamame, a town locates some 570km north of Somali capital Mogadishu.
The Islamist group was ousted from major town in south and central Somalia for the past years, but still has a presence in large areas of southern Somalia and often stages attacks across Somalia.
Somalia has remained in the grip of on-again, off-again violence since the outbreak of civil war in 1991.
Al-Shabaab, which is waging an insurgency against the Somali government, has recently suffered several significant blows, losing most of its strongholds in southern and central to Somalia army and and African Union troops.