SOMALIA: Al-Shabab militants killed in operation in Jubbaland

Somali National Army (SNA) backed by Jubaland state forces killed six al-Shabab extremists on Saturday in a security operation on the outskirts of Kismayo, a military officer confirmed on Sunday.

Aden Mohamed Ibrahim, commander of Jubaland state army told journalists that the joint operation conducted by SNA’s 43rd Unit and Jubaland state army started when the forces got intelligence from the public of the militants’ presence in the area.

“There was a fierce fight between the army and the militants in Koban and Bula Haji villages, but our forces overpowered the militants, killing six of them,” Ibrahim said.

He added that the army also captured many villages and recovered ammunition during the operation.

Locals said that heavily armed government forces attacked Bula Haji village, prompting an exchange of fire between the army and the militants.

On July 12, the army backed by Southwestern state forces killed seven al-Shabab extremists and injured 5 others in another operation in Bardale town in the southern region of Bay.

Meanwhile, security minister, Abdinasir Said Muse, survived an assassination attempt on Saturday evening after a roadside bomb targeted his vehicle near Taleh junction in Mogadishu’s Hodan district.

The police said the bomb which was hidden on the roadside at a construction site exploded on the vehicle belonging to the deputy minister but Muse was not in the vehicle at the time.

The police officer who declined to be named said one of his guards was killed while three other people were injured.

There was no immediate comment from the militant group on the latest attack in the restive Mogadishu but the terrorist group which is fighting to topple the government have usually staged such attacks in the past.

Somali army backed by the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) forced al-Shabab extremists out of the capital Mogadishu in August 2011, but the militants still hold swathes of rural areas in southern and central Somalia conducting ambushes and planting landmines as they stage attacks in the city and elsewhere.