GAROWE (Somali Commentator)-Officials in Somalia’s Northeastern State of Puntland have vowed to pursue Al Shabaab militants until the region is cleansed of terrorism, as the war rages into its third day, Garowe Online reports.
Puntland forces have punctured through Al Shabaab trenches in Badqado and Suuj villages of Nugal region on Friday.
“All praise is due to Allah, we are going after assailants who launched the attack on Puntland by now. They can go nowhere. They are under siege. We flushed them [militants] out of areas surrounding Godobjiran. They were on the run at sunset. We will not relent on our clean-up operation,” Nugal Governor in military fatigue, Omar Abdullahi Faraweyne told reporters in Garacad.
Meanwhile in Suuj, former Puntland security commander Gen. Mohiyadin Ahmed Muse said, heavy gunfire was ringing out from ditches where militants are holed up.
Muse said, only a soldier sustained injuries in today’s operations as security officials are trying to minimize casualties within the army.
Puntland forces suffered two losses while government sources said, Special Forces prowled past an estimated 20 militants in Badqado, approximately 130km off Puntland capital, Garowe.
‘Boxes of Ammo’
Meanwhile in Garowe, a military aid that included rounds of ammunition, dates and cans of tuna fish landed in two planeloads on Friday.
A government official who asked not to be named told Garowe Online that the two planes were loaded with aids procured by a key Arab partner and Somali Federal Government.
“40 boxes of AK-47 assault rifle ammunition and 30 packages of tuna fish cans composed Somalia Federal Government aid whereas friendly Arab country dispatched a consignment consisting of 15 boxes of ammunition for PK machine guns, 10 containers with light anti-aircraft gun rounds and 70 boxes of AK-47 ammunition,” the well-informed government source said.
UN-backed national government staged an event for the aid said to be meant for Puntland forces battling Al Shabaab militants.
Analysts say, the consignment circulated as huge in media might have been aimed at allaying Puntland’s objection to a newly adopted electoral proposal.
On the eve of the weekend, Deputy Prime Minister, Mohamed Omar Arte, hinted at flogging African Union peacekeepers role to Puntland, an offer rejected by President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali.
Ali has earlier today held talks with Ethiopian Chief of Defense, Samora Muhammad Yunis and Intelligence Boss in the course of itinerary in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Presidency sources say, Puntland and Ethiopia agreed on the need for cooperation in security in light of ongoing operations against Al Shabaab in coastal villages.
Interim Galmudug leader Abdikarin Hussein Gulled on his side unveiled that near constant airstrikes in central and southern Somalia led to militant influx northwards towards Puntland.