A team of 7 KDF special forces on Monday infiltrated and destroyed an Al Shabaab camp in Jilib killing 8 Al Shabaab militants while rescuing 23 Somali girls. Among the militants killed was a high value notorious middle-level commander, a close ally of Ahmed Iman who had been in hiding for several years.
The 23 girls rescued by the special forces are reported to have been abducted from a remote town 300 kilometres south of Mogadishu and were being used as sex slaves by the Al Shabaab militants who used the camp as a stopover as they traveled towards their various missions.
According to intelligence reports, it was the same tip that led to the death of Ahmed Iman that also revealed the location of Ibrahim Hassan Abdikadir, a wanted man by both the Kenyan and US governments. Abdikadir is said to have participated in the planning and execution of the 2015 El Adde attack on KDF and has been on the run ever since.
Most of the information was said to have come from a now surrendered Ibrahim Mohamed Bitow as part of his deal with the Somali Government. He is said to not only have given up information on Ahmed Iman but also several of his Kenyan cohorts, a result of prolonged infighting between Kenyan and Somali militants in the Al Shabaab.
The last three months have seen vicious assaults on Al Shabaab positions AMISOM and Somali forces, with support from US airstrikes. The airstrikes have mainly targeted Al Shabaab leadership greatly affecting their capacity and diminishing their capabilities. This has led to mass defections and surrenders, a sure sign that the extremist group is on its last legs.