Mogadishu — The Somali government says a joint operation by army and local forces in the central regions have killed 25 Al-Shabaab fighters.
According to a statement from the Ministry of Information, this came after fighting on Tuesday and Wednesday, which also saw the demise of five Galmudug State combatants allied to the federal government.
"On our side, among those who lost their precious lives was the commander of Galmudug's Horseed Battalion, Mohamed Ali," the statement issued on Wednesday said, adding that the bulk of the fighting took place at Aad Village in Mudug region.
Over the last two months, the Somali army has worked with Galmudug State forces to wage military offensives against Al-Shabaab strongholds in Mugug region, seizing such strategic towns as Ba'aadweyn and Qay'ad. The forces are getting closer to Haradhere, a former hub for notorious Somali pirates next to the Indian Ocean, but lately held by the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab.
On Monday, the Somali government stated that in operations over the last month, it had killed 275 jihadist militants.
"The operations against the terrorists took place in various regions, namely Hiran, Middle Shabelle, Lower Shabelle, Lower Jubba and Mudug, gaining the control of five towns and sixteen villages," the report stated, adding that the forces destroyed 20 Al-Shabaab bases and four vehicles intended for transportation of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs).
The government has promised to work with federal member states hit Al-Shabaab hard.
This comes at a time when the country is gearing up for a Presidential election. Through indirect elections, Somalia is electing 54 senators for the Upper House and 275 MPs for the Lower House of its bicameral parliament.
The election season will end with a presidential poll through a joint session by the senators and legislators, which is expected to take place on October 10.