Somalia’s Military Troops Capture Strategic Towns From Al-Shabab In Galmudug Region
Somalia’s government-led forces on Monday announced they have captured two towns, which were previously in control of Al Shabab militant group in the central Galmudug State, reported The TRT World.
In a broadcast on state-owned television on Monday, Somalia’s Defence Minister Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur said the government forces took the port town of Harardhere as well as the nearby town of Galcad in central Somalia’s Galmudug region.
“Haradhere and Galcad districts have been taken from the hands of the Al Shabaab terrorists,” Defence Minister Nur said. “This means al Shabaab is overpowered and gone. The remaining towns will also be liberated soon.”
Notably, Harardhere is a key coastal town and served as a former pirate hub. The Al Shabab group, which first rose up against the government in 2007 before pledging allegiance to Al Qaeda, later took Harardhere under its control.
The government and allied clan militias have forced the militants from large swathes of territory in central Somalia since last August. However, experts have cautioned that the group has been pushed out of major towns before only to regroup and reclaim areas the army does not have the capacity to hold.
The Al Shabab militant group has been waging a bloody insurgency against the weak internationally-backed central government for the last 15 years, carrying out attacks in Somalia and other neighbouring African countries which sent forces to help in the fight against the militants.
Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud had declared an all-out war on the group after taking office in May last year. The government is also targeting al-Shabab finances. Last year, the government said it had closed 13 bank accounts affiliated with the group.
In response to the military pressure, the militant group launched a series of high-profile attacks in the capital Mogadishu and various other cities, including car bombs that killed at least 35 people earlier this month.