The Al Qaeda affiliated branch in Somalia is counting huge losses after Puntland and allied forces reportedly killed 173 of it fighters and capturing over 100 others in two major counter offensives in Suuj valley and Dhinowda areas.
On Tuesday last week, hundreds of Al-Shabaab had stormed Gara’ad town only to be cornered in the Suuj valley by security forces. Puntland siege has lasted nearly a week with successes being reported against the Islamist group.
Giving account on terrorist raids and wins to reporters in Garowe town, Puntland Information Minister Mohamud Hassan So’adde said 173 fighters whom included foreign fighters have so far been killed by Puntland forces and federal government soldiers in the last one week in Suuj valley and Dhinowda village, while over 100 fighters were nabbed with their rifles. Security forces also pursuing some who fled.
On Monday 21st March 2016 Puntland forces paraded captured fighters who included minors as young as 9 years.
Some of the captives who spoke to the media during the parading confessed they were forcefully recruited into the extremist group.
Some spoke of how they were lured by Al-Shabaab leaders for jobs and education in Yemen only to find themselves in the militant’s camps. Many claimed to have been abducted and once taken to the training camps there was no way out.
Al-Shabaab which is fighting the western-backed government of Somalia with intention of imposing strict Islamist Sharia law is facing complete decimation having lost key towns and stronghold in south Somalia where Africa Union Troops have dislodged them.
The militant group is reportedly fleeing northwards into the parts of Puntland where they too have met their death.