STORY: AMISOM & SNA PREPARE TO CAPTURE QORYOOLEY FROM - JANAALE
SOURCE: AU/UN IST
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DATELINE: 22ND MARCH 2014, JANAALEY, SOMALIA
The Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM, the African Union Mission in Somalia have captured the strategic town of Qoryooley from Al Shabaab.
Qoryooley is 120 kilometers from Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, and is one of the most populated towns in Lower Shabelle region. The capture follows extensive preparation for the offensive by the SNA and AMISOM's Uganda contingent.
AMISOM and the SNA begun renewed offensives against the militants early this month and have so far captured eight towns across South Central Somalia.
While talking to the media before the town was liberated, the AMISOM commander in charge of the operation in the Lower Shebelle, Brigadier Dick Olum, from the Ugandan Contingent says their intention is not to kill or destroy the city but to get rid of any al Shabaab elements.
“Should we get resistance, then we shall go full scale, we get any small resistance, any attempt on us, we shall go full scale. But is we don’t get any resistance, even if its minor resistance then we shall just try to cool it down. Our intention is not to kill, to destroy, but our intention is to take over the city and to hand it over to government.”
The Governor of Lower Shabelle region joined the fight to liberate Qoryooley, a place he has not had the opportunity to go to in years even though it falls under his leadership. He has put away his office attire for a military one.
“As you see, now I am wearing military dress, we are going to liberate Qoryooley District and now we are near.” Says Alkdir Sheikh Mohamed Nor, Governor of Lower Shebelle Region. “About Qoryooley it is a very strategic town. It is located on the bank of the Shebelle River and the terrorist and Al Qaeda are based there. They tortured, the massacred innocent people. Really the civilians have requested us to liberate them from Al Qaeda. “