“KDF forces carried out an airstrike against the base killing a dozen al-Shabaab militia. We have received information from the local residents that the militants evacuated the base. We don’t have the exact figure at the moment, but we will capture the base tomorrow and will get the details,” Colonial Warfa, a spokesman for the Somalia government in Gedo region, told Somalia Report.
“While we try to liberate the people of Gedo from these militants, we would like to urge people to be patient and not to show fear because the KDF and the TFG forces have a clear plan on where to target. We have a clear strategy and good knowledge of their bases. We hope that there will be no civilian causalities in these operation,” Colonial Warfa added.
The colonel also urged local residents to assist government forces in the fight against the militants.
“We also want the civilians to show their commitment in these operations and help us in gathering information on al-Shabaab defectors wherever they are hiding," said the colonel.
Despite the reassurances of the government, local residents expressed their concern about the airstrikes.
“I have five children and their father died five years ago. Now I live in Tulo Barwako village and I only have five cows. I can‘t go to graze them because of these jets and the explosions. I don’t know what to do because my only source of livelihood is in danger,” Amina told Somalia Report.
“Before al-Shabaab invaded our village our family had 20 cows, but they kept taking them by force in the name of Zakat (charity). Now I am stranded and don’t know what to do,” Amina added.
Airstrikes in Lower Juba
Meanwhile at least five people were killed and several others were injured after airstrikes targeted an al-Shabaab base in a rural area 40km from Kismayo in Somalia's Lower Juba region, according to residents.
Residents reported three fighter jets fired at least 10 missiles in the rural area near Kismayo.
"I saw al-Shabaab's armed vehicles driving in the city carrying people who had been killed or injured after the airstrikes hit their bases outside Kismayo," Mowlid Arale, a resident in Kismayo, told Somalia Report.