Somali defense chief says Al Shabaab’s ability weakened

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somalia’s Defense Minister Hassan Ali Mohamed says the country’s military forces have intensified military offensives against al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab.

Mohamed says the militant group’s ability was weakened due to joint military operations carried out by Somali army forces backed African Union troops.

He added the military operation would continue until the group’s last fighter is eradicated.

Mr. Mohamed reiterated the country’s president’s amnesty offer is still open to youth fighting alongside al-Shabab.

He says the fighters who gave themselves up would receive training, employment and education.

“The amnesty is still open. We want to pardon the Somali youth who were misled by al-Shabab,” he said.

Al-Shabab – which is allied to al-Qaeda – is battling Somalia’s UN-backed government and has also carried out attacks in neighboring Kenya.

Abdi Aziz Hassan Ibrahim is , a somali veteran journalist based in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Twitter @mareegonline Email: