MOGADISHU: The US military said on Wednesday it had killed 27 fighters from the Al Shabaab militant group in an air strike in Somalia’s central Hiran region, where the army and allied forces have launched an offensive against the insurgents in the last month.

The United States has been carrying out air strikes in Somalia against Al Shabaab, an Al Qaeda franchise, for years. Sunday’s strike was the sixth recorded in 2022.

In Hiran region residents say Al Shabaab’s torching of houses, destruction of wells and killing of civilians, combined with demands for taxes amidst the worst drought in 40 years, has pushed locals to form paramilitary groups to fight alongside the government.

The militants, who are seeking to overthrow the Western-backed central government and implement a strict interpretation of Islamic law, were killed while attacking federal forces near Buulobarde, a town around 200 km north of the capital Mogadishu, AFRICOM said in a statement. “The defensive strikes allowed the Somali National Army and African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) forces to regain the initiative and continue the operation to disrupt Al Shabaab in the Hiraan region of central Somalia,” AFRICOM said.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

Cipher inquiry
Updated 04 Oct, 2022

Cipher inquiry

Inquiry will likely end nowhere, or, worse, be used as a tool of victimisation.
Further delay?
04 Oct, 2022

Further delay?

KARACHI Administrator Murtaza Wahab’s announcement that the second phase of Sindh’s LG polls — primarily...
Losing to England
04 Oct, 2022

Losing to England

AFTER tantalisingly close finishes in the fourth and fifth matches against an England side visiting the country for...
An inexplicable delay
03 Oct, 2022

An inexplicable delay

AFTER a flurry of activity a couple of months ago, geared towards filling the vacancies in the apex court — an...
Dire situation
Updated 03 Oct, 2022

Dire situation

If there is any time for the civilian leadership to show unity, it is now.
Russian annexation
03 Oct, 2022

Russian annexation

AS Russia and the West play a zero-sum game in Ukraine, Moscow’s official annexation of four Ukrainian regions it...