Ugandan People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) and the Somali officials claimed killing 189 al-Shabaab fighters late Friday and in the early hours of Saturday in an operation in southern Somalia.
Lower Shabelle Governor Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Siidi was quoted as said to VOA, Ugandan soldiers under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), using attack helicopter gunships, have killed nearly 200 al-Shabab militants.
Earlier, the Ugandan army’s deputy spokesman, Lt. Col. Deo Akiki said, “Their soldiers killed at least 189 al-Shabab fighters in the operation and destroyed two mounted weapons and motorbikes in separate fire strikes.”
Governor Siidii said the strikes, along with ground assaults by the joint troops, occurred Friday and in the early hours of Saturday in a string of villages between the Qoryoley and Janaale districts in the Southern Somali region of Lower Shabelle.
“The militias were struck in their hideouts in the villages of Sigaale, Adimole and Kayitoy, just over 100 kilometers southwest of the capital, Mogadishu,” Nur said.
A statement from the Ugandan Army said that during the operation “a large number of military hardware and items used by the terrorist were also destroyed.”
“The UPDF also disrupted an al-Shabaab meeting, injuring several terrorists in Donca-daafeedow, which is seven kilometers from the Janaale town,” the statement added.
Military copters strike al-Shabab targets
Local residents on the condition of anonymity said they could see military helicopters striking key al-Shabab targets and hideouts in the thickets and farmlands around Janaale town.
AMISOM has been in Somalia for more than 10 years, keeping the peace and supporting Somalia’s government to fend off attacks from al-Shabab militants, which aims to topple the government and impose its own harsh interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.
The group controlled large swathes of south-central Somalia until 2011, when it was driven out of Mogadishu by African Union troops.
Speaking of the latest operations, both Somali and Ugandan military officials say this was the largest number of al-Shabaab fighters killed in a military operation in a single day.
Governor Siidii says AMISOM has introduced a new strategy and unveiled fresh military power.