Somalia's president is set to declare a "state of war" against the al-Shabab terror group, a military official said Friday.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed will soon announce the declaration against the group, which has been blamed for the country's deadliest attack, a Somali army official said on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.
The official said the Somali government expects the U.S. to play a "supportive" role in a new offensive which the president is set to launch Saturday, according to the Associated Press.
Somali Army spokesman Capt. Abdullahi Iman said early Saturday that through the offensive, the government aims to eliminate fighters from al-Shabab's "fortresses" located in the Lower Shebelle and Central Shabelle regions of southern Somalia.
On Saturday, a massive truck bomb exploded in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, killing at least 358 people and injuring scores more.