Somali government forces have captured four suspected Islamist militants, a spokesman for the state security agency said Saturday.
Qasim Ahmed Roble told reporters that the four suspected members of the terrorist group al-Shabab were shown to the media in the capital, Mogadishu.
He said the suspects opened fire on Somali security forces Friday night while officers were conducting a security operation.
Qasim said one of the suspects is in his early 60s, adding that “many people believe that most al-Shabab members are misled young boys.”
Al-Shabab is fighting for an Islamic state governed by strict interpretation of the Quran. The group has suffered setbacks in recent years, as government troops, backed by African Union forces, regained control of the capital and other territories that had been taken by al-Shabab. But its members continue to stage sporadic attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere in Somalia. The number of the attacks has increased in the past week.
On Thursday, an apparent U.S. drone strike reportedly killed Adan Garaar, a top al-Shabab leader. Garaar was suspected of having links with the gunmen who attacked Nairobi’s Westgate Mall in 2013.