TFG troops in the garden of the Red Mosque.
The Red Mosque on Wadnaha Road.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Mogadishu, Somalia (AMISOM) - TFG forces, supported by AMISOM troops, have advanced in a rapid offensive to secure Wadnaha Road (National Street), the southern boundary of Bakara Market, after two days of extensive joint operations.The Force Commander, Major General Nathan Mugisha, visited the scene of operations even as counter attacks were being withstood, and visited Mogadishu’s famous Red Mosque as Al Sunna Waj Jama soldiers, loyal to the TFG, celebrated the recovery of their most important historic spiritual centre, located on the Wadnaha Road.
The Southern and Western edges of Mogadishu’s famous Bakara Market are now under control of government troops, as they seek to push the extremists out of their longstanding stronghold.
Al Shabaab casualties are estimated to be around 22 dead and 40 injured. AMISOM has suffered two fatalities and five injured.
The local commander of TFG forces told the Force Commander, “This mosque is where my Grandfather is buried. This is where Al Shabaab desecrated the grave of our prominent teacher, Sheik Biyamalo. This is a very important day for us and for Mogadishu.”
The Force Commander said, “We have taken the offensive to the extremists and driven them back. I am very pleased with the progress that our forces have made working together. The impending removal of the insurgents from Bakara is our main goal, as we place more and more of the city under Government control.
“We must reiterate our appeal to the business community. We appreciate that these are difficult times, and we urge the public to minimise movement in and around Bakara until the security operations are complete. We urge the business community to help us push the insurgents out of Bakara."