MOGADISHU, (Xinhua) — Somali security forces killed a senior Al-Shabaab leader heading the group in Lower Shabelle region on Friday in southern Somalia, a government official confirmed on Sunday.
Information Minister Abdirahman Omar Osman said the security forces killed Moalin Osman Abdi Badil alongside his three associates in a raid in Bariiree area, but did not indicate if the same raid involved U.S. forces. A U.S. navy SEAL member was killed in Bariire area Friday by Al-Shabaab militants. “This operation marks a turning point in our fight for security – security from attacks by Al-Shabaab, and security from the stealing, suffering, and fear that al Shabaab attempt to provoke,” Osman said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
The minister warned that the security forces with the help of its allied partners from the Africa Union mission will intensify fighting against the insurgents. “Leave Al-Shabaab now. Defect, as many of your brothers are beginning to do. It is your only chance to be a part of Somalia’s future, a peaceful and prosperous future for you and your families,” Osman said. Osman said the death of Badil significantly “disrupts the terrorist group’s ability to operate in Lower Shabelle, which is a major step towards peace in the region.” The latest death of the militants comes after the U.S. confirmed that Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator Kyle Milliken was killed in Bariire some 40 miles west of Mogadishu Friday.