SOMALIA: Hundreds of civilians arrested in Mogadishu security sweep.

MOGADISHU (XOGTA MEDIA – www.xogta.net ) – Mogadishu’s stabilization Security Unit forces have on Tuesday launched an operation targeting the northern parts of the capital, in response to the increasing attacks and killings, XOGTA.NET reports.

Hundreds of people, mostly young men were detained in Mogadishu’s Yaqshid district in connection with the murder of a soldier on duty at a checkpoint near Towfiq Hotel junction and a civilian on Monday evening.

Most of the people had been freed later, while several suspected to have links with Al Shabaab were taken into custody for further questioning, according to a villager who spoke to MOL over the phone.

Suspected Al Shabaab assassins armed with pistols were reported to have carried out the shooting who managed to immediately escape from the crime scene before the arrival of the Somali security forces.

The special troops tasked with the city’s security stepped up their routine operations after the Al Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab has intensified its attacks and targeted killings in the seaside capital.

The Police officials say the ongoing security sweeps are aimed at stemming the militant attacks in the Somali capital of Mogadishu.

In the past few months, there has been an upsurge of targeted killings and attacks in the city of almost three million which government officials blame on Islamic insurgents.

Last month, twin car bombings and a gun attack near the Presidential Palace in Mogadishu killed 45 people, while scores were wounded. The attack took place a week after Somali cabinet endorsed new chiefs for the Police force and Intelligence Agency.

Since the formation of the Mogadishu Stabilization Security Unit in 2017, the security of the city has been improving gradually as the forces set up checkpoints outside the capital, searching vehicles and people coming in.