Al-Shabaab spokesman says group is prepared for offensive declared by Somalia’s president


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Al-Shabaab spokesman Ali Dhere said in a video released on Sunday that the group was prepared for a military offensive declared by Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

Speaking at the graduation of hundreds of Islamist fighters, including dozens of suicide bombers, Ali Dhere reiterated that Mohamud’s declaration of war against them was an attempt to receive funds from Western governments.

He warned that clans who agree to fight alongside government troops will be dealt with similar to the Somali army and African Union troops in Somalia, alleging that dozens of Ma’wisley clan militias recently mobilized by the government used to run extortion checkpoints before being dispersed by Al-Shabaab.

The remarks came weeks after Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud repeatedly threatened a military offensive against insurgents, who have been battling to topple the Western-backed Somali government for more than 15 years.

Ali Dhere urged residents in the Somali capital to stay away from hotels popular with officials and government installations, which he said are prime targets for their attacks.

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