MOGADISHU, Nov. 9 (Xinhua) -- Somali security forces on Wednesday killed 97 al-Shabab extremists in two separate operations conducted in the central part of the country, the Somali government said.
The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism said the Somali National Army backed by locals killed 50 al-Shabab militants in El Gorof in the Galgaduud region, while the National Intelligence and Security Agency killed another 47 militants in the Basra area.
"The government is grateful to the local people and international friends who contributed to this successful operation and eradicated Khawarij (al-Shabab) networks that were planning attacks to target the public," the ministry said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.
Al-Shabab which is fighting to topple the government has been facing enormous pressure and offensive from government forces. The extremist group was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 but it is still capable of conducting attacks, targeting government installations, hotels, restaurants, and public places.