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Somali officials and the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) claimed killing 189 al-Shabaab fighters late Friday and in the early hours of Saturday in an operation in southern Somalia.  

Talking to VOA Somali Service by phone, Lower Shabelle Governor Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur Siidi said Ugandan soldiers under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom), using attack helicopter gunships, have killed nearly 200 al-shabaab militants. 

Earlier, the Ugandan army’s deputy spokesman, Lt. Col. Deo Akiki said, “Their soldiers killed at least 189 al-shabaab fighters in the operation and destroyed two mounted weapons and motorbikes in separate fire strikes.”  


Governor Siidii said the strikes, along with ground assaults by the joint troops, occurred Friday and in the early hours of Saturday in a string of villages between the Qoryoley and Janaale districts in the Southern Somali region of Lower Shabelle.  

“The militias were struck in their hideouts in the villages of Sigaale, Adimole and Kayitoy, just over 100 kilometres southwest of the capital, Mogadishu,” Nur said.  
A statement from the Ugandan Army said that during the operation “a large number of military hardware and items used by the terrorist were also destroyed.”   
“The UPDF also disrupted an al-Shabaab meeting, injuring several terrorists in Donca-daafeedow, which is seven kilometres from the Janaale town,” the statement added.  
Residents told VOA on the condition of anonymity they could see military helicopters striking key al-shabaab targets and hideouts in the thickets and farmlands around Janaale town.  
Amisom has been in Somalia for more than 10 years, keeping the peace and supporting Somalia’s government to fend off attacks from al-shabaab militants, which aims to topple the government and impose its own harsh interpretation of Islamic Sharia law.  
The group controlled large swathes of south-central Somalia until 2011 when it was driven out of Mogadishu by African Union troops.  
Speaking of the latest operations, both Somali and Ugandan military officials say this was the largest number of al-Shabaab fighters killed in a military operation in a single day. Governor Siidii says Amisom has introduced a new strategy and unveiled fresh military power.  
“The Ugandan soldiers are using attack helicopter gunships in their operations for the first time, and also the Somali National Army, with the help of Amisom, came up with a strategy of aggressive attacks against militants in their hideouts, rather than wait their attacks,” he said.  
This operation comes a week after the United States military said it had completed the withdrawal of troops from Somalia.
AFRICOM spokesperson Colonel Christopher Karns confirmed to VOA Somali earlier that repositioning of the troops was completed ahead of the deadline mandated by a presidential directive last December ordering the troop removal by mid-January.    

The number of U.S. military personnel in Somalia ranged from 650 to 800 service members. U.S. troops supported and mentored an elite Somali unit known as the Danab “lightning” brigade.
In recent days, al-shabaab militants had intensified their attacks using improvised explosive devices and landmines targeting Somali security officials in Mogadishu and other major towns.  
The militant group claimed responsibility Saturday for a landmine explosion in Mogadishu that killed four people and injured two former lawmakers, Hussein Arale and Muhidin Afrah.  

On Tuesday, the militants claimed another blast that killed the deputy commissioner for security and politics in Garasbaale, Abdi-Rashid Dubad. Six others were injured in the blast.  
Security analysts say a day hardly passes in Somalia without reporting an incident involving al-shabaab attacks.  VOA

COVID-19 TEST: Samples are taken from a truck driver for Covid-19 test at the Miritini Covid-19 Testing Centre on July 3. Photo John Chesoli


Some 129 more people have tested positive for Coronavirus bringing the total number to 99,898 confirmed cases.

A statement from the Ministry of Health indicated that the new cases were from a sample size of 5,091 that was tested in the last 24 hrs.

As a result, cumulative tests done so far stand at 1,153,121 since the first case was reported in the country in March last year.

Of the new cases, 108 are Kenyans while 21 are foreigners with 79 being males and 50 females.

The youngest is a three-month-old infant while the oldest is 83 years old.

Nairobi county has 81 cases followed by Kiambu with 8 cases, Mombasa 8 cases, Siaya 7 cases, Nakuru 5 cases, Kajiado 4 cases, Kilifi 4 cases, Uasin Gishu 3 cases, Kitui 3 cases, Turkana 2 cases and Homa Bay, Kisii, Machakos and Meru counties each one case.

According to the statement, 70 patients have recovered from the disease of whom 44 are from various health facilities and 26 from the Home-Based Isolation and Care.

This brings the total of recoveries to 82,936.

The total fatality cases remain at 1,740 as there was no death that was recorded within the same period.

Currently, there are 541 patients admitted to various health facilities across the country while 1,564 are on Home Based Isolation and Care.

Some 27 patients are in the Intensive Care Unit of whom 16 are on ventilatory support and 10 on supplemental oxygen.

One patient is under observation.

Another 14 patients are separately on supplementary oxygen with 10 of whom are in the general wards and 4 are in the High Dependency Unit-HDU. - Patrick Vidija, The Star

Photo Anadolu Agency


Turkey’s state-run aid agency on Friday donated materials to be used by women to make sandals in South Sudan, a landlocked country in East-Central Africa.

The Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency (TIKA) donated several sandal-making items to empower women by providing them opportunities to earn independently.

“We support humanitarian and developmental projects for the benefit of the people of South Sudan,” said Mustafa Kemal Akbulut, Turkey’s deputy chief of mission for political and economic affairs. He disclosed that about 46 women were trained on how to make sandals.

“This project will empower women and will generate income for them and we will be working together with relevant South Sudanese authorities and NGOs,” Akbulut added.

Peter Mayen Majongdit, the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, thanked the Turkish government for the support, saying it will improve livelihoods of people.

Angelina Abuk, one of the beneficiaries, said the project is very important for them because it is going to change their lives.

The project for making sandals is being implemented by a women-led national organization LULU CARE.

Turgut Gazigil, the acting coordinator for TIKA in Juba, was also present at the occasion. - Benjamin Takpiny, Anadolu Agency

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