File photo shows African Union forces take part in the Africa Day celebration at the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Headquarters in Mogadishu, capital of Somalia in 2017. (Xinhua/Faisal Isse)
MOGADISHU, Aug. 12 (Xinhua) -- The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali National Army (SNA) forces this week intensified joint operations to flush out terrorists in villages near Qoryooley in southern Somalia.
The AU mission said on Sunday that the joint operation to flush out terrorists which started on Thursday was aimed at disrupting the militants' activities in the vast region.
Colonel Hussein Hosh, SNA 7th brigade commander, said the joint military operation is was also aimed at denying the al-Qaida allied terror group's access to strategic areas of Lower Shabelle from which they base to inflict harm on the population.
"The operation is a strong message to the terrorists that they better surrender and abandon their barbaric acts against the civilian population and the legitimate government of Somalia or we will deal with them," Hosh said.
The operation comes amid heightened security in the Somali capital following the deployment of more security forces and erection of security roadblocks along key roads to deter attacks from the terrorist group.