Somalia

Somali government Forces take over Beletwein, a strategic town and the capital of the Hiran region, in Central Somalia

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(Mogadishu 31st Dec 2011) Somali government forces, supported by the people of the Hiran region have taken over the city of Beledweyne and the surrounding area. The Minister of Defence, H.E. Hussein Arab Isse, said today, “Our forces achieved a great victory and have driven out of Beledweyne all the forces of the Al-qaida linked Al-Shabaab terrorists."

"Janta Kundishe, Beledweyne Airport, and the whole city itself are in the hands of TFG forces. The only things remaining are mobbing up operations to make sure that no terrorists are hiding among the residents." He added.

"These victories are part of a major campaign of liberation by the Somali Armed Forces, to free the Somali people in general and the inhabitants of Beledweyne in particular from the yoke of the terrorists, that caused untold suffering to our people for far too long." the minister continued.

The Minister advised the residents of Beledweyne to stay calm and cooperate with their army, (The Somali Armed Forces) in keeping the peace and maintaining law and order. Equally he advised those youngsters still with Al-Shabaab to give themselves up and hand over their weapons to the National Army.

Finally, the Minister has sent an appeal to all Aid Agencies to speed up and rush deliveries of humanitarian aid to the people of Beledweyne and the region that have been starved of assistance for a long time.