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Somalia: More than 300 terrorists killed in recent military operations - Information Minister

Somalian soldiers. [Erçin Ertürk - Anadolu Agency]
Somalian soldiers. [Erçin Ertürk - Anadolu Agency]

Somalia's Information Minister, Daud Aweis, said Wednesday that the national army (SNA) with support from local militias has killed 323 Al-Shabaab terrorists in seven days, Anadolu News Agency reports.

He said among the victories include the capture of Eldher, Haradhere and Galcad in Galmudug state.

"The terrorists have been controlling these areas for more than 15 years. In another operation in Galmudug, more than 100 Al-Shabaab have been killed by SNA after they attacked a military camp in Galcad," he said at a news conference in the nation's capital, Mogadishu.

Aweis said the SNA also killed 70 terrorists in the Beerfarah area in Haradhere in the Mudug region.

In Hirshabelle state, he said several operations were carried out against "the khawarijs Al-Shabaab killing over 90 terrorists who continue to test the wrath of Somali national forces".

He also noted that 40 Al-Shabaab terrorists were killed in an operation in South West state and 10 were liberated from the group in Jubaland state.

A security analyst in Mogadishu, Abdi Abdirahman Yusuf, told Anadolu that recent operations by the army and the liberation of Haradhere, a coastal and strategic town 491 kilometres (305 miles) north-east of Mogadishu has been one of the defeats against the terrorists.

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"Although I can see that, in the long term, there is a need for negotiation between the government and Al-Shabaab, I can say that Somalia has achieved a lot of victories by liberating Hirshabele state and the ongoing offensives in Galmudug and the capture of Haradhere is a huge defeat for the group," he said.

As operations against Al-Shabaab are under way, the group has intensified attacks, targeting security personnel and their bases, since the national army, backed by residents, started an offensive.

Two car bombs exploded in October at the Education Ministry, killing at least 121 people and injuring more than 300, in the deadliest bombing in years in Somalia.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared a "total war" on all fronts against the terrorists and since the announcement the army has scored significant victories.

Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with Al-Shabaab and Daesh being among the main threats.

The UN has warned of growing instability in the country, issuing periodic reports last year that detailed attacks by Al-Shabaab and pro-Daesh terror groups.

READ: Somalia: At least 10 soldiers killed in Al-Shabaab attack on military base

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