MOGADISHU – Somali military has declared final operation to flush out of al Qaeda linked al Shabaab in south and central towns of the war-ravaged nation.
The announcement was made after Somali Minister of Defence Hassan Ali Mohamed met with Francisco Madeira, special representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission (SRCC) to Somalia.
The meeting was also attended by senior officials from African Union mission known as ‘AMISOM and Ministry of Defence.
Amb. Madeira and Mohamed discussed wide range of issues, including operations against al Shabaab in Somalia.
“We agreed to launch a new joint offensive against al Shabaab”, said in a statement released after the meeting in Mogadishu.
The al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab has carried out similar attacks which left dozens dead in Mogadishu.
The group was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011, but the militants continue to hold small rural areas in central and southern Somalia.
The group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.
It has lost control of many towns and cities to a 22,000-strong African Union force supporting the government.