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Somali gov’t says “89 suspected terrorists” arrested in Mogadishu

Published on July 15, 2012 by   ·   No Comments Waxaa Daalacatay :332

MOGADISHU, July 14 (Xinhua) — The Somali government on Saturday said its security forces arrested 89 people suspected of having links with the militant group of Al-Shabaab in overnight raids in the capital Mogadishu this

week.

The raids are part of moves to strengthen the security of the capital ahead of crucial meeting of a National Constituent Assembly (NCA) to ratify a draft constitution for Somalia.

The searches were carried out by a joint force comprising the police force, the national intelligence agency and the members of the Army, a statement from the Somalia’s information ministry said.

 

“(The forces) cordoned off suspected terrorist hideouts in several neighborhoods as part of series of night raids in the capital city of Mogadishu. A total of 89 Al-Shabaab terrorist suspects were arrested and remain in custody,”

the statement said.

The Somali government is preparing to hold crucial meeting of a National Constitution Assembly in the capital Mogadishu as key part of a process known as the roadmap that will lead the country to move out of a decade-long

transitional period.

“The objective of the raid was to weed out the remnants of the al Qaida-affiliated terror group, in the wake of numerous roadmap activities being held in Mogadishu that will pave the way for the return of permanent and

representative government,” Somali government said

 

.

In the northern town of Balad, the security forces have also launched massive search operations that targeted members of the al Qaida-linked Al-Shabaab rebels.

The town, 30 km north of Mogadishu, was captured from Al- Shabaab by Somali government forces and African Union peacekeepers last month.

In May the town of Afgooye, 30 km west of Mogadishu, was also seized from Al-Shabaab fighters.

Security forces said they have recently foiled a number attacks in the capital. Officials vowed the operations will continue until all security threats were eliminated.

Mogadishu has been relatively peaceful following Al-Shabaab’s surprise withdrawal in last August.

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