The Somalian government has said 10 al-Shabab militants were arrested in an operation conducted in Mogadishu, the capital of the country, on Friday evening.
“The forces destroyed this network of al-Shabab terrorists who were planning terrorist acts to undermine the security of the capital and to harm the public,” the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism said in a statement issued here on Friday night.
Somalia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) are interrogating the arrested militants, including the group’s hitmen who were planning to kill innocent Mogadishu residents, medical doctors and others who were in charge of the group’s transport and accommodation.
NISA agents also seized three houses the militants were secretly operating, their weapons and vehicles they were using to stage attacks in the restive capital.
The government said it committed to eradicate the terrorists and thanked the Somali people for sharing the information that have led to the arrest or killing of the militants.
The arrest came a few hours after four people were killed in a roadside blast along a road in Bula-barte, a town in Hiran region of central Somalia on Friday night.
According to state-owned Radio Mogadishu, a prominent traditional elder, Yusuf Fidow, his son Ibrahim Yusuf and other two traditional elders Hassan Hussein and Muqtar Haji were killed after a car they were travelling in hit a roadside bomb planted by al-Shabab militants near Buq-Aqable village.
The Somali government has declared an all-out offensive against the militants who are fighting to topple the internationally recognized government.
Early this week, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud called on citizens to stay away from areas controlled by the militants ahead of major offensives against the al-Qaida allied terror group.
Mohamud said the militant group will be confronted on all fronts, noting that they will be subjected to airborne attacks including raids in a bid to weaken its presence in Somalia.
The extremist group still controls some parts of rural southern and central Somalia and continues to carry out high-profile attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere.
However, the allied forces have intensified military operations into territory formerly controlled by al-Shabab after driving the insurgents out of Mogadishu in 2011. (Xinhua)