Heavy fighting between Government troops and Al Shabab in Beledweyne outkirts

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The Somali National Army (SNA) has continued its offensive against Al-Shabaab terrorists after destroying one of their hideouts in the Hiran region’s South Beledweyne area.

One of the commanders in charge of the operation, Farah Gacamey, claims that the army attacked the militants early on Friday in the Southern Beledweyne region between Baardhere and Beerhanno. There, they were able to drive the terrorists back and destroy their bases.

He added that locals on the area have joined hands with the Army in the operation aimed at the militants who have been attempting to reorganize themselves and launch attacks against security officers and civilian.

Moreso, he added that the populace gave soldiers a shot in the arm in eradicating the militants who have had the region under their belt for years .  long periods ruled

Al Shabaab has been honing a highly centralized system of extortion  at ports of entry and roadways for nearly two decades, mostly in the territory it holds in the southern and south-central regions of the country.

Their  recent defeats to Somali Army in the southern region will be significantly detrimental to their financial muscle , hence bogging down their activities within the region .

In a recent a debrief at town hall in Mogadishu President Hassan Sheikh   expressed confidence that his new military offensive against al-Shabaab will “defeat” the al-Qaeda-linked Islamist group that has long terrorised the Horn of Africa.

Government forces have been gaining ground against the militants since August after launching the most significant Somali-led campaign against al-Shabaab since the jihadis began their terror campaign 15 years ago.

Territorial gains, mostly in central Somalia, have been backed by a financial crackdown that has led to the freezing of hundreds of bank and mobile money accounts, holding a “couple of million dollars” combined, and a drive to convince Somali clerics to condemn al-Shabaab as “anti-Islamic”.

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