- Monday 17th August 2015, Somali police conducted a major operation in Mogadishu’s Yaqshid district and arrested 11 suspects linked to Al Shabaab militants.
- During the operation improvised explosives (IEDs) and weapons were recovered.
- Deputy Somali Police Commissioner Mukhtar Afrah while addressing journalist said the militants were arrested following a tip off from the public that a number of suspicious characters were hiding in a house in Yaqshid district, north of capital Mogadishu.
- Special police forces surrounded the house and when they stormed inside, they found 11 Al-Shabaab militants, along with various weapons, including heavy machine-guns and pistols.
Al Shabaab militants over the last few weeks have suffered blows from AMISOM troops in Somalia. The militants have lost dozens of fighters while some of their key strategic areas have been captured.
While campaigns against the Somali jihadists have intensified, militant have employed tactical withdrawal from some of the areas they controlled into hiding.
Al Shabaab may have used this tactical strategy to prevent further killings of their fighters by the AMISOM and strategically start regrouping for future attacks.
In this case, Al Shabaab militants who were arrested were hiding in the house while preparing bombs to be used in attacks against civilians in Mogadishu.
According to the Deputy Commissioner of police, the house was a base for the members of Al-Shabaab which they used to carry out interruption operations in the capital.
While African Union Mission in Somalia troops in Somalia have made significant gains against the Al Shabaab, efforts to guard and keep free areas that have been liberated from Al Shabaab fighters need to be employed as a matter of urgency before the militants try to find their way back.
The Somali police force recently received training from AMISOM forces. Deploying them in various areas that have been captured from the militants as well as engaging them in regular operations will be a bold step to secure Somalia.
Although Al-Shabaab militants have been flushed out of most regions in Somalia by AMISOM and government troops, the group is still capable of carrying out attacks against government and AU peacekeeping force in Mogadishu.