MOGADISHU, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Somali National Army (SNA)'s special forces on Friday evening killed al-Shabab's regional leader and wounded at least 20 others in a security operation carried out in the Mubarak area of southern Somalia, the government confirmed on Saturday.
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism said the operation destroyed the terror group's extortion center near Mubarak village, where they used to extort money from the people.
The ministry said in a statement issued in the Somali capital, Mogadishu that the special forces during the operation freed civilians who were forcefully imprisoned by the terrorists at the center.
"The target of the special forces' security operation was the financial center of the terrorist group and at the time of the attack some al-Shabab leaders were present at the center," the statement said.
It said the wounded included Osman Daud who was the senior al-Shabab leader in Mubarak and Aw Maay who was responsible for al-Shabab's extortion activities.
"Somali public have begun reprisals against al-Shabab in several parts of Somalia such as Hirshabelle and Galmudug states of Somalia while the army continues expanding into the land controlled by the terrorist group," the statement said.
The extremists have recently stepped up their attacks against African Union and Somali forces, especially in Mogadishu targeting their bases, hotels, and other public places.
The terrorist group has been responsible for the death of hundreds of civilians in explosions, assassinations, and other attacks in several parts of the country. ■