MOGADISHU, Sept. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Somali National Army (SNA) have arrested 32 al-Shabab militants after conducting military operations in Marka town in Lower Shabelle region southern Somalia.
SNA commander Odowa Yusuf Rage told the state-owned radio on Wednesday that the operations took around the port town of Marka on Monday and Tuesday.
"Somali National Army arrested 32 al-Shabab militants during military operations in Marka in the past two days. Some of them were caught while fighting, the rest are amniyat (secret spy units), bomb experts and tax collectors," Rage said.
He said the suspects will be taken to military court to face changes of belonging to terror group
The Somali National Army, backed by the African Union Mission troops, re-captured the town from al-Shabab fighters on Aug. 19.
Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants on Tuesday abducted 62 elders from locations between Guri'el and Mataban towns in Galgudud and Hiiraan regions respectively.
Ahmed Duale Gele, president of Galmudug State, confirmed that the militants took the elders to Elbur town in Galgadud region, a stronghold for the group, telling the group's intention is to force them to pay annual taxes (Zakawat) and bring boys to them for fight.
The al-Qaida-allied militants group has not commented yet on the latest abduction.