Somali forces recapture 20 vehicles held for ransom by Al-Shabaab

Mogadishu (HOL) – In a significant military operation, Somali government forces have successfully recaptured 20 vehicles held for ransom by the militant group Al-Shabaab. The operation, which took place in the Lower Shabelle region, was announced by Defence Ministry spokesman Abukar Mohamed Hassan during a press conference held in the Doonka area on Wednesday.

The coordinated operations, conducted between the towns of Afgooye and Wanlaweyn, resulted in the liberation of considerable territory from Al-Shabaab and the capture of several members of the group. “We advanced from Afgooye while another unit moved from Wanlaweyn. The most intense operation took place in Waraaboole, where we freed 20 vehicles from the Khawaarij (a term used for Al-Shabaab). Suspected insurgents captured during these operations will be brought to justice. Tonight, we are in the Doonka area, where the Khawaarij used to extort money from civilians,” Hassan stated.

Al-Shabaab had demanded a ransom of $300 per vehicle, a sum the vehicle owners were unable to pay, resulting in the vehicles being held for several days. The operation covered a 70-kilometre area, and Hassan called on Somali citizens to support the national forces working to ensure their security.