Al-Shabaab attacks military base in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - Al-Shabaab militants raided yet again an army base in southern Somalia on Sunday morning, sources confirmed, amid an ongoing crackdown against the group, which is fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed administration under President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.
According to reports, the militants used bombs to attack Awadheegle before sunrise, followed by sporadic gunfire in the pre-dawn attack. The government of Somalia is yet to confirm the devastating attack whose casualties also remain scanty according to reports from the ground.
“Today was the worst day for this town", a resident told Garowe Online by phone. The key agricultural town lies 84 km west of the Somalia capital, Mogadishu. The militants have been targeting military bases in the country, with most soldiers reporting to various frontlines for the operations.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been moving across the country to motivate soldiers on the frontlines. Already, a number of soldiers have been subjected to military court for trial, after it emerged that they abandoned frontlines following an attack at Cawsweyne village.
It is projected that by 2024 December, Al-Shabaab militants will have lost strategic towns in the country with foreign soldiers expected to leave the mission. The Somali National Army is being prepared to take over security responsibilities across the country.
On Friday, the army repelled an attack at Berdaale town according to the Ministry of Defence which has been monitoring operations across the country. The town is found in the Bay region, one of the hotspots in the war against the militants and where much focus will be put on the second phase of operations against the group.
“Last night, our National Army, supported by local residents, successfully repelled a Khawarij militia attack on Berdale district, Bay region,” the Ministry posted. “The operation resulted in the elimination of the group's leader along with other militants.”
Al-Shabaab on their side confirmed attacking the town and claimed forcing govt troops to “flee” their base. The group is, however, known for using propaganda as a tool to articulate its agenda including but not limited to exaggerating the number of casualties.