Somali troops have pulled out of villages in Lower Shabelle region a day after they seized the villages, official said on Wednesday.
In an operation conducted on Monday, the forces captured Darusalam, Mubarak and Awdhiigle villages after Al-shabaab fighters vacated them.
Deputy Governor of Lower Shabelle region, Abdifatah Hajji Abdulle who confirmed the withdrawal of the troops said the aim of the forces was to destroy Al-shabaab bases in the region.
“The mission of Somali troops was not to have base in those areas but to destroy Alshabaab camps in the areas,” said Abdulle.
He highlighted that the operations to clear Al-shabaab bases from the region would be continuous till the region is stabilized.
“We don’t want Al-shabaab to take sanctuary in the region, we will keep on operations against them till the region is secured,” he vowed.
Al-shabaab claimed to have taken over the villages hours after the government troops withdrew from the captured areas.
Al-shabaab radio station destroyed
Somali military force commander, Abdullahi Ali Anod said the government forces destroyed Al-shabaab radio station in Lower Shabelle region in Monday’s operations.
Anod pointed out the forces managed to drive out Al-shabaab from three villages in the region.
“Somali military engaged in gun battle with Al-shabaab in three villages of Lower Shabelle region. Alshabaab was defeated and several of its bases including the group’s broadcasting station, radio Andulus were destroyed in the operation,” said Anod who spoke to the military owned radio station in Mogadishu.
He also noted that they killed several Al-shabaab members in the fighting between SNA and Alshabaab in Mubarak village.
Intensifying operations against Al-shabaab
The commander said Somali troops backed by African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) would increase the offensives to flush out Al-shabaab from Middle and Lower Shabelle regions.
“Plans to drive out Al-shabaab from these regions were drown. The operation will be continuous as the scheduled, the group very weak and will be eridicated,” he vowed.
His sentiment comes barely five days after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo announced new air strikes and ground offensives against Al-shabaab.
Somali government supported African Union has been fighting Al-shabaab since 2007.
Al-shabaab group lost the control of Somali capital, Mogadishu in 2011 after it engaged in deadly battle with Somali forces backed by AMISOM troops.
The group still controls remote areas in South and central Somalia.