Somali forces have launched operations to beef the security of the road linking Bal’ad and Jowhar in Hirshabelle state, military official said Thursday.
Gen Mohamud Mohamed Moalim, the commander of the 27th division who visited Hanta-Sheikh locality in the outskirt of Bal’ad town said Somali forces are conducting operations to re-open and secure roads that are blocked by Al-shabab fighters.
He noted that Al-shabab fighters use the roads connecting the two towns to conduct attacks against Somali forces.
“One of our commanders named Mohamed Raghe was killed in Al-shabab ambush here. He was not only commander but an elder who liked to bring people together therefore that incident forced us to constantly conduct security operations along Bal’ad-Jowhar road,” Moalim said.
The move comes a month after Hirshabelle president, Mohamed Abdi Waare unveiled plans to re-open roads in the state that were blocked Al-shabab.
“The forces are planning to conduct massive operations to secure roads in Hirshabelle state. We have already dismantled roadblocks set up by Al-shabab in some parts,” Ware said in press conference on 31st January.
He underscored that the plans to open and secure main supply routes will be augmented with operations to push Al-Shabab fighters out of the state.
Al-shabab which controls a large areas in South and central Somalia wages ambush attacks against the convoys of government forces and African Union peace-keeping troops that ply along the roads linking the main towns in the region.