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Suspect Al-Shabaab gangsters steal gun and food near Mandera

MANDERA (Xinhua) -- Al-Shabab militants on Saturday night attacked a Kenyan village in the border town of Mandera and escaped with food and a gun, a police officer confirmed on Sunday.

The officer said the attack in Hareri Hosle, a village in Mandera Arabia road at the border of Kenya-Somalia started at around midnight when about 30 al-Shabab believed to have crossed from Somalia, roamed the village.

The police officer who asked for anonymity said one Kenya Police Reservist official was shot in the chest and another had his head grazed.

Top security agents visited the area as part of operation to restore normalcy.

The latest attack came after the militants on April 12 abducted two Cuban doctors after killing one of their bodyguards.

The doctors are yet to be rescued. Officials have among others, linked local business rivalry as the cause for the attack on the doctors.

There has been a lull in terror attacks staged by the extremist group in Mandera due to various measures by local and national governments.


Eleven al-Shabab militants killed in southern Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The Somali National Army (SNA) killed 11 al-Shabab fighters in clashes between government soldiers and the militants on Monday evening in the country’s southern region of Middle Shabelle, officials said Tuesday.

Mohamed Kulmiye, general manager of information for Hir-Shabelle State, said the Somali forces launched an attack on al-Shabab extremists in Yaqle village, a location between Jowhar and Bal’ad in the Middle Shabelle region.

"Our forces inflicted heavy casualties on the militants in the fierce battle.

"I can confirm that we killed 11 militants," said Kulmiye, adding that the SNA’s unit 27 commander sustained injuries during the battle.

Abdulkadir Aden Jelle, minister of internal security and rehabilitation for Hir-Shabelle State, also confirmed the battle, saying there were casualties on the government side.

"We lost one soldier in the offensive and four others got injured," said Jelle.

Residents said a fierce battle erupted between government forces and al-Shabab militants in Yaqle on Monday evening.

"Government forces attacked al-Shabab militants in the village, the two forces engaged a fierce fight that lasted for several hours," Hassan Mo’alim, a resident told Xinhua via phone.

The extremist group claimed through their affiliated media channels that they ambushed the government forces, killing 12 soldiers including a brigade commander.

It added that they wounded the brigade commander’s deputy and destroyed three vehicles.

The latest clash came amid sustained security operations by Somali forces against al-Shabab militants in central and southern Somalia.

United States airstrike kills three al-Shabab terrorists in Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The U.S. army said on Monday evening that it had killed three al-Shabab militants in a precision airstrike in southern Somalia on Sunday.

The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement that Sunday’s airstrike was in self-defense after al-Shabab fighters attacked Somali forces near Tortoroow.

AFRICOM said the Somali forces were conducting an operation to disrupt the terrorist network in the area and to bolster local support for the government when they came under al-Shabab attack, adding that no civilians were injured or killed.

Sunday’s airstrike is the latest in a series of similar missions by the U.S. forces in Somalia in collaboration with Somali and African Union forces in the Horn of Africa country.

The strikes have largely targeted al-Shabab figureheads based in southern Somalia where the group still maintains a strong grip in some regions.

Somalia arrests four al-Shabab militants in Mogadishu

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Somali security forces apprehended four al-Shabab militants in an operation conducted last week in the capital, Mogadishu, officials said.

Zakia Hussein Ahmed, deputy police commander, said the arrests were made in an offensive conducted in two different districts in the capital.

"Our forces detained on May 1 two militants who killed Abdullahi Ali Ma’ow, a government soldier, in Waberi District," Zakia told journalists in Mogadishu on Sunday evening.

"They also apprehended two other militants in Mogadishu’s Heliwa District."

She said that Somali forces also seized weapons like anti-tank mines and bombs that the militants intended to carry out attacks during Ramadan.

Mogadishu is on high alert as police forces blocked the main roads of the capital to prevent possible militant attacks.

Somali security forces, backed by African Union Mission in Somalia, chased al-Shabab militants from the capital in August 2011, but the militants are still able to conduct attacks targeting government installations, hotels, restaurants and public places.

Five al-Shabab militants surrender to Somali government

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- Five al-Shabab militants including a senior bomb expert have surrendered to the Somali government this week, officials said on Thursday.

The ministry of information said Yusuf Ahmed Adow, an al-Shabab bomb expert, was the latest to defect to the Somalia National Army (SNA) forces in Gedo region in southern Somalia, bringing the number of defectors to five.

"A senior al-Shabab bomb expert, Yusuf Ahmed Adow has today surrendered to Somali National Armed Forces (SNA) in Garbaharey, Gedo region," said the ministry.

Adow and another al-Shabab fighter, Ahmed Aden, another al-Shabab explosive assembler surrendered to the government forces on Thursday while three militants defected to the government forces in Garbaharey, Dollow and Bardere towns on Tuesday.

Regional government officials said those who have surrendered would be handed over the authorities in Mogadishu.

The latest defections come amid intensified military operations against the militant group which is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government.

UN migration agency to relocate 24,000 Somalis at risk of eviction in Baidoa

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The UN migration agency said Friday it plans to relocate some 24,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) at risk of eviction to public sites in Baidoa, southwestern Somalia.

International Organization for Migration (IOM) said the regional South-West State has provided public land to humanitarian partners for development and subsequent relocation of displaced families who find themselves at risk of eviction.

"This effort by the authorities in Baidoa and South-West State is vital to ensuring that displaced people in Baidoa live in dignified conditions until they wish to return to their home areas, or integrate into the local community," Rainer Gonzalez, IOM’s senior programs coordinator said in a statement.

The organization said thousands of IDPs are under constant threat of eviction in the city of Baidoa which currently hosts more than 323,000 displaced people, many of whom live on private land without secure tenure agreements.

According to statistics, more than 11,900 individuals were evicted in Baidoa without proper notice this year between January and March.

An eviction risk assessment conducted in February by humanitarian partners revealed that 48 out of the 391 IDP sites hosting 5,170 households in Baidoa were at very high risk of eviction and 117 IDP sites hosting 12,697 households were at high risk.

  Howlwadaag camp in Baidoa, Somalia | Coastweek

BAIDOA Somalia (Xinhua) -- Howlwadaag camp in Baidoa, Somalia. The United Nations on Thursday warned of a looming drought-related humanitarian crisis in Somalia where about 1.7 million people will face food insecurity until June. XINHUA PHOTO - CHARLES ONYANGO
The UN migration agency said discussions and community consultations were held with the local leaders and communities from these 48 IDP sites in Baidoa town to identify those who would be interested in being relocated.

"Of the 48 IDP sites involved, residents from 15 of them showed willingness to be relocated," said the IOM.

IOM’s Kathryn Ziga, a camp management consultant said communities were shown the site and services available, including the security posts, plot sizes, water collection points, and lockable household latrines.

"Relocation is voluntary.

"If they like what they see, they can decide to move," Ziga said.

AMISOM says capture of Bariire town crucial for stability of Somalia

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on Friday said the successful capture of strategic town of Bariire from al-Shabab earlier this week is crucial for stability of the country.

Francisco Madeira, special representative of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission for Somalia, said the town was serving as a key transit point for al-Shabab extremists who frequently crossed over from Bay and Middle Jubba into Lower Shabelle to terrorize communities.

"The liberation of Bariire from the grip of the terrorists is another major milestone for the Somali National Army and AMISOM in our joint efforts to free the people of Somalia from the control of al-Shabab and restore lasting peace, stability and security in the country," said Madeira in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

The AU troops in a joint military operation with the Somali National Army launched an offensive and liberated Bariire from al-Shabab on Monday.

The agricultural-rich Bariire, which lies about 60 km west of Somali capital, Mogadishu, is one of the strategic areas located in Lower Shabelle region along River Shabelle.

The liberation of Bariire comes exactly a month after AMISOM troops, in another joint operation with the Somali National Army, captured the bridge town of Sabiid and Anole in Lower Shabelle region on April 1.

The military offensive to liberate Sabiid and Bariire is part of the implementation of the revised AMISOM Concept of Operations 2018-2021 and the Somalia Transition Plan.

"The capture and holding of the two towns (Sabiid and Bariire) are concrete steps in the process of the gradual handover of security responsibilities from AMISOM to the Somali Security Forces in accordance with the Transition Plan," Madeira said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.

Madeira lauded the allied forces for the bravery and professionalism in liberating the two towns and their visible efforts to protect and safeguard civilians and their properties.


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