AFRICANGLOBE – Al-Shabaab headquarters in Somalia have been captured after a week of strikes by Kenyan, Ethiopian and Somali troops.
Kenya Defence Forces took over the capital of Gedo, Bardhere, on Thursday.
“The capture facilitated the liberation of Dinsoor on Friday in a coordinated offensive with the Ethiopian troops in an Amisom operation dubbed ‘Operation Jubba Corridor’, which started a week ago,” said KDF spokesman David Obonyo.
Bardhere has been under Al-Shabaab control for the last seven years while Dinsoor has been the main strategic headquarters in Somalia.
Colonel Obonyo said Al-Shabaab militants fled the towns “with little resistance.”
Seven militants were killed, five AK47 rifles seized and four pick-up trucks mounted with machine guns destroyed.
“The militants fled southwards towards Sugow, Baule and Jilib, which are now the main focus of the Amisom operation to liberate the Jubba corridor. The capture of Bardhere and Dinsoor is a significant achievement of Amisom’s mandate to restore security and stability in Somalia,” Col Obonyo added.
In a statement, he also said: “Bardhere and Dinsoor have been major planning, operation and logistics bases for the militants and its loss will seriously affect and weaken them further. Bardhere has also been a major base from where the militants have infiltrated the common border into northern Kenya through Gedo.”
About 3,000 Ethiopian troops were last week deployed to cover Sector 3, with KDF operating in Sector 2 as dictated by Amisom’s rules of engagement.
Gedo region had remained without ground troops.
Eighty-four terrorists, including commanders, have been killed since the operations began.
Besides the Amisom armies, the United States is also using drones to strike Al-Shabaab posts.
Another air-strike last week killed seven Al-Shabaab terrorists at Lagolie, a small township near Elade, also in Gedo.
A KDF soldier died in the fighting while another sustained injuries.
Other air-strikes targeted Al-Shabaab camps at Tunno Baruaquo and Laan Quarap, also in Gedo.
There over 4,000 KDF troops in Somalia under Amisom.
By: Fred Mukinda