Saturday November 19, 2022
Beledweyne (HOL) - Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud arrived in Hiiraan’s Mahas district on Saturday, one of the battlefronts in the ongoing offensive against al-Shabab in central and south Somalia.President Hassan Sheikh commended the people and military forces for their recent successes in the fight against terrorism by showing courage and solidarity. He emphasized the government's support for the areas of their people and decided to liberate "khawarijs," a term for someone who deviates from Islam.
Hirshabelle’s Vice President, federal and regional lawmakers, district officials and residents welcomed the President and his delegation at the airport.
"As long as I am the President, the government of Somalia is determined to eradicate al-Shabab from the country, to eliminate any terrorism. Elbur, Haradhere, Aden Yabal and other areas will be liberated soon," he added.
President Mohamud listened to a report from Mahas residents urgently requesting government services. He promised that the federal government would work with the regional government to deliver government services to the areas freed from the militants.
Villa Somalia reported that President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud would visit other towns and villages on the frontlines, including nearby Galgadud and Mudug regions.
Speaking at the opening of Somalia's second session of Parliament on Tuesday, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud vowed to continue the "all-out war" against terrorism.
According to military officials, Somali government forces backed by local clan militia liberated scores of villages in the Hiiraan region, killing over a thousand al-Shabab militants in recent months.
The al Qaeda-linked militants, meanwhile, have struck back with deadly attacks.
At least 613 civilians have been killed and 948 injured so far in 2022, according to the latest UN figures - the highest since 2017 and an increase of more than 30% from last year.
121 people were killed and 330 others seriously wounded in the group's latest major attack after a twin-car bomb attack at Somalia's federal Ministry of Education in Mogadishu on October 30th.
Al-Shabab has been fighting to topple Somalia’s internationally-backed government for more than 15 years. Government troops supported by local militias are currently engaged in an offensive that has successfully retaken several areas controlled by al-Shabab in central Somalia.