100 Al-Qaeda militants killed in Somalia military operation: deputy minister
At least 100 militants linked to Al-Qaeda, including seniors, have been killed in a military operation in central and southern Somalia, a ministerial official in the country has said.
"One hundred members of the militias linked to Al-Qaeda, including prominent leaders, were killed in a military operation," the official news agency SONNA quoted deputy information minister Abdul Rahman Yousef Al-Adalah as saying.
He did not say when the operation happened.
"The military operation took place in cooperation between the national army and international partners in the area between the [southern] governorate of Shabeellaha Dhexe (Middle Shabelle) and the [central] governorate of Galguduud," said Al-Adalah.
Fourteen military vehicles belonging to the militants were destroyed while a base used by them suffered heavy damage, the official said.
Al-Adalah did not mention whether air strikes were used in the operation.
Al-Shabaab – Al-Qaeda’s branch in Somalia – has been waging a bloody insurgency against the fragile internationally backed government in Mogadishu for more than 15 years.