13 October 2012

Somalia: Govt Arrests Over 300 Suspected Al-Shebab

Mogadishu — Police commander in Somalia says their security forces arrested over 300 suspected Al-Shebab fighters during an operation in the capital Mogadishu.

Benadir regional police boss Ahmed Hassan Ma'alin said 60 people were still in custody on Friday night after a security sweep of Mogadishu resulted in the arrest of 364 people.

Of those arrested 304 have been released.

The police raids took place on Wednesday.

Ma'alin said that those who are still in custody are being investigated under a number of headings to see whether they will be charged.

Ma'alin also said that operations will continue in Mogadishu as police target more areas where they believe credible targets could be hiding.

Residents say they saw government forces searching hotels, houses, vehicles and business premises.

The police said that during the raids they confiscated a number of weapons.

The weapons include new top-of-the-line explosives never seen by police in Somalia before.

Government officials added that they would trace the origin of the explosives to determine how they entered Somalia.

Mogadishu has experienced a string of attacks lately and the current security clamp down is seen as a response to that.

Security analysts believe that Al-Shebab has planted sleeper cells across Mogadishu's districts before the top Shebab officials and infantry exited the war-torn capital.

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