Somali army chief arrives in Hiiraan amid anti-al-Shabaab push

The militants have lost key areas in the south to Somali and AU troops but still, they are active and posing threat to security. 

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Somali army chief arrives in Hiiraan amid anti-al-Shabaab push

MOGADISHU, Somalia - The commander-in-chief of the Somali national army [SNA] General Odowaa Yusuf Rage has arrived in the central town of Bula-Burte within the Hiran region on Sunday morning.

Upon his arrival, the SNA boss was received at the airport by senior military commanders from the 27th battalion and Djibouti's peacekeeping force and escorted him to the city's administrative headquarters for talks on the fight against Al-Shabaab.

The country's armed forces are battling Al-Shabaab in different regions in the south and central Somalia to drive out the militant group from their current strongholds ahead of the parliamentary and presidential elections. 

Somali forces backed by AU troops have launched an offensive in the Middle Shabelle region last month in which hundreds of militants and soldiers were killed, according to the military sources.

General Odowaa has been leading the recent operations against Al-Shabaab in the country's south despite defeats in the Mudug region, where the army lost Ba'adweyne town to Al-Shabaab after deserting their bases.

The Al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group which has been fighting to overthrow the UN-backed Somali government has vowed to disrupt the upcoming crucial elections in Somalia.

On Saturday morning, the group targeted the Mogadishu police head Col Farhan Qarole, a former Al-Shabaab defector with a car bomb attack in the city, killing at least nine people, most of them civilians.


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