Somalia National Army (SNA) forces on Wednesday captured four villages, which were al-Shabab’s strongholds in the country’s southwestern region, as part of an offensive to flush out the militants, the government said.
The Ministry of Defense said the soldiers took control of Dudumale, Bulo-Kajor, Abagbeday and Elgaras villages in Hudur town in an offensive that marked the second phase of the government campaign against al-Shabab extremists.
“Somali National Army has taken control of villages previously under the Khawarij (al-Shabab) influence. This is the beginning of the second phase and a decisive step in restoring safety to our communities,” the ministry said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
The ministry said the government forces have restored peace and security in the liberated villages where the militants had been hiding and terrorizing the local people.
The SNA and its allied forces are currently engaged in joint military operations against the al-Shabab militant group following the completion of the first phase, which liberated chunks of territory in central and southern Somalia that were under the control of the al-Shabab group.