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Somalia kills dozens of Al Shabab fighters in military operation

At least 49 Al Shabab terrorists have been killed in a military operation in the Lower Shabelle region, Somalia’s government has said, as security forces pushed ahead in a months-long campaign aimed at seizing territory long held by the group.

Somalia’s special forces, together with its intelligence agency and “international security partners”, destroyed a number of military vehicles and a weapons dump in Bulo-Madino village in Lower Shabelle region on Tuesday evening, the ministry of information said in a statement on Wednesday.

Al Shabab, an Al Qaeda franchise which controls large swathes of the country, claimed responsibility for two car bombs that killed at least 120 people in capital Mogadishu in October.

The militia’s restrictions on international aid have compounded the impact of the worst drought in four decades, officials say, leaving the country on the brink of famine.

Government forces, supported by clan militias and, at times, African Union troops, have made a number of battlefield gains against Al Shabab in the last three months.