Al-Shabaab's attack leaves five soldiers dead in Somalia's Puntland
BOSSASO, Puntland - Al-Shabaab has yet again targeted Puntland state security forces in its latest bomb attack, despite an ongoing crackdown against the Al-Qaida-linked group in southern Somalia.
The reports indicated that at least five PMPF soldiers were killed in an Al-Shabaab IED attack in the Galgala area, which could trigger an onslaught against the militants, with the government determined to eliminate the militants and instill stability within the country and beyond its borders.
The soldiers met their deaths after their convoy was hit by the explosion while their colleagues who were rushing to rescue them sustained injuries in the second blast.
The injured soldiers have been rushed to a hospital in Bossaso, a port city on the Gulf of Aden, and are currently undergoing treatment, while the dead have been taken for burial. This was the first major attack on the PMPF in months, with Al-Shabaab targeting security officers.
Al-Shabaab faces military pressure in the South and is trying to escape to northern regions, including Puntland, where the group has bases in the Galgala mountains.
For the last couple of months, the government of Somalia with the help of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] and the US Africa Command have been descending on Al-Shabaab, making significant gains in central and southern parts of the country according to military reports.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who assumed power in June in his second stint, has vowed to defeat the militants, noting that he will use both the military and ideologies to counter the group. Somalia has identified sources of revenue for Al-Shabaab and is hell-bent to destroy them.
On Saturday, the Ministry of Information also identified a number of social media accounts that are used by the militants to spread propaganda to the group. Al-Shabaab's websites have also been identified and the government has ordered their immediate shutdown.
Dozens of Al-Shabaab militants were killed since last month during military operations, according to SNA statistics with Al-Shabaab also claiming sporadic attacks which left dozens of SNA officials dead. The US has strongly pledged to continue supporting Somalia in the fight against violent extremism.