A minister says Southwest regional forces have carried out an operation in the southern strategic city of Baidoa on Tuesday to deter possible Al Shabaab attacks.

Speaking to Radio Shabelle, Southwest’s State Minister for Security Abdulkadir Abdirahman Ali said several people suspected of having links with Al Shabaab were detained by the troops during the sweep.

The suspects have been taken into custody and those found guilty will appear before a court, he said.

Ali added that city’s overall security has been beefed up and called on the public to closely work with the local authorities to thwart any attack from Al Shabaab, the Al Qaeda-affiliated Somalia-based militants.

Southwest state troops backed by Ethiopian soldiers serving with AU Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] have flushed out Al Shabaab from major towns in Bay and Bakol regions in the past few years.