Somalia National Army (SNA) and allied AMISOM forces spearheaded a crackdown in the capital Mogadishu in retaliation for a recent twin attack by the al Qaeda affiliate in Somalia Harakat Al Shabaab al-Mujahideen.
Hundreds of suspected al Shabaab members and sympathizers were arrested in Heliwa District during the crackdown that took place on the 26th of February. The operation was also overseen by Somalia’s Interior ministry seeing as the militants have become more radical in recent days attacking the civilian population indiscriminately.
Moreover, the interior ministry has barred soldiers from carrying heavy weapons as well as troops without proper clearance from entering the capital. The move has been cited as a preventative measure as it will declutter the capital as well as enable the security forces to spot any al Shabaab militants masquerading as security officers.
Al Shabaab conducted a double suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack targeting the Presidential Palace and Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) headquarters that killed on February 23 over 45 people.