Mogadishu — Somali police officials say over 1, 700 young men suspected of being Al Shabaab members were arrested in Mogadishu on Jan. 14 and Jan. 15, Garowe Online reports.
Gen. Ahmed Hassan Moallim, police commissioner of Banadir region where Mogadishu is located, told Puntland-based independent Radio Garowe that the security operation was conducted in Mogadishu 's Wadajir district.
"We are sorting through the suspects, case by case. So far we have isolated 100 men with evidenced links to Al Shabaab terrorist group," said Gen. Moallim.
Continuing, he noted that the Somali federal government plans to conduct similar security operations in other regions now controlled by government forces. "I call upon the Somali people to work closely with government forces for the sake of peace," said Gen. Moallim.
Somali satellite TVs showed hundreds of Somali youth lined up inside an open camp guarded by security forces in Mogadishu. It was the single largest security sweep in Mogadishu since the election of Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in September 2012.
Police officials said that 1,714 persons were arrested in total during the two-day operation. Al Shabaab militants have vacated their bases in Mogadishu but the militants frequently l aunch suicide bombings, roadside explosions and mo rta r attacks in Mogadishu targeting Somali government and AMISOM troops.