BELEDWEYNE (SMN) – The reports from the Hiran region, central Somalia indicate that Al-Shabaab has abducted 30 civilians as the group is facing massive military pressure.
Military officials who asked to remain anonymous told Shabelle Media Network that the militants snatched the people from different locations near Beledweyne city.
Some were taken from passenger vehicles traveling on the roads near the city with the SNA officials describing the abduction as revenge for the community’s involvement in the ongoing offensive against Al-Shabaab in Hiran.
They added that the troops launched an operation to rescue the unarmed people from Al-Shabaab. The militant group is yet to comment on the military claims.
Last week, two vehicles ferrying at least 20 people have been kidnapped by Al-Shabaab in a remote area located between Halgan and Bulo-Burde within the province.
Dozens of people were killed and many more injured in the current war against Al-Shabaab, which the government said gained more territory previously held by the group.
Somali president Hassan Sheikh said on Saturday in his new year’s address to the nation that 2023 will be a re-liberation and reforming of the economy and security year.
Al-Shabaab which has been battling to oust the Somali government and expel AU troops is now in trouble after losing a major group and grip due to the army operations.