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Security measures stepped up in Somalia


Friday, October 12, 2012
by: Abdulaziz Billow

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Security forces in the volatile capital Mogadishu have beefed up security in a bid to thwart Al-Shabaab fighters attempts.

A massive security operation on Wednesday saw the arrest of more than 360 Al-Shabaab members with security forces seizing hand grenades, ammunition and improvised explosive devices in some of the suspect’s homes.

Security forces say the operations are meant to consolidate the latest security gains made by the African Union troops and the Somali government forces, barely a year after pushing the Al-Shabaab militants out of Mogadishu. However, the new post transition Somali government has intensified its crackdown of fighters in the capital following a spate of bombings and targeted killings.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

The Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab fighters for the past five years, and is propped up by a strong African Union force from Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti.

Lawmakers and journalists have been the latest victims of the rising insecurity in Mogadishu. In one instance, a new Somali lawmaker was gunned down in Waberi district and six journalists killed in the month of September. Mogadishu police boss now appeals on the youths to cooperate with the security organs in a bid to end the security crisis in Mogadishu.

Wednesday's crackdown is the second such operation in four weeks, on September the Somali security forces together with the recently incorporated AMISOM police initiated a major crackdown to root out remnants of Al-Shabab in a dawn operation arresting close to 400 youths.

“Barely a year after the exit of the Al-Shabaab from Mogadishu security forces are struggling hard to maintain the capital’s security, with the militants on the other hand vowing to continue war against Somali government”.



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