The Somali National Army (SNA) on Thursday recaptured a town in the southern region of Middle Shabelle that was under the control of al-Shabab militants.
Abdullahi Ali Anod, Somalia’s defense ministry spokesman, said at a media briefing in the Somali capital of Mogadishu that the government forces faced minimal resistance from al-Shabab when they recaptured the town.
“The SNA, with the support of local militia, took control of Runirgod district in Middle Shabelle region at dawn. Al-Shabab militants have already fled as the forces intensify operations to get rid of all insurgents,” Anod said.
He said more than 150 al-Shabab militants, including five foreigners, were killed and 15 others arrested during a week-long military offensive, adding that efforts to liberate other regions in south-central Somalia from the al-Qaida-linked group will be intensified.
The latest move came after the first batch of Somali troops trained in Eritrea returned to the country and are expected to join the ongoing military offensive against al-Shabab.