Somali army targets Al Shabaab spokesman, 17 killed
MOGADISHU – Somali army forces carried out a joint military offensive against al Shabaab, killing 17 militants near Awdhegle town, some 70km southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.
The operation was executed in Shaam area near the town on August 11 as the army radio is claiming that Al-Shabaab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud (Ali Dhere) was injured during the operation.
The SNA radio quoting military sources reported that at least 17 other militants were also killed in the latest operation.
Mareeg Online could not independently verify the claims.
There was no immediate comment from Al Shabaab over the military claims.
Last week, Turkey.-backed forces took control of Awdheegle town after the withdrawal of al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab.
For many years, Awdheegle was the main base in the Lower Shabelle region, where Al Shabaab assembled, planned and launched its attacks, according to a statement by Somali military.
Al Shabaab, the deadliest Islamic organization in Africa declared their allegiance to al-Qaeda in 2010.
The militant group was driven out of Mogadishu capital in 2011, and have since lost many strongholds to Somali army and African Union troops
The al Qaeda linked group still holds large rural swathes of the country and continue to wage a guerilla war against the Western-backed government of Somalia.