Al-Shabaab launches morning raid in Somalia's Jubaland
MOGADISHU - Al-Shabaab militants on Tuesday launched a daring attack in Jana Cabdalle, a town located in Jubaland state, reports indicate, in an attack which was direct revenge following the takeover coordinated by regional troops and the Somali National Army [SNA] last month.
The town was captured by the Jubaland Darwish forces last month following an operation that was activated by President Ahmed Islam Mohamed Madobe, the Jubaland leader who has been a champion in the fight against the militants for the last ten years since his time in Ras Kamboni Brigade.
Residents in Bulogudud reported hearing the huge explosion early Tuesday morning and it is believed that the militants exchanged fire with the militants who were forcing entry. More often than not, the Al-Shabaab coordinate retaliatory attacks in areas that have been liberated by the military.
Al-Shabaab group claimed its fighters targeted Jana Cabdalle with the complex attack but until now, the casualty is not known. The group did not disclose the motive of the attack but in most instances, they have been going for innocent civilians, members of the security forces, and in some cases, senior government officials.
Jubaland has been closely working with the Somali National Army [SNA], the US Africa Command, and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] which are stationed in Sectors II and VI. The teams are credited for liberating several strategic towns including Kismayo, the regional administrative capital of Jubaland.
During the battle last month, Jubaland State announced launching the first of a ‘multi-front military offensive’ against al-Shabaab. Jubaland reported that federal and regional forces captured Jana Cabdalle, about 52km northwest of Kismayo town without a fight, and went on to secure the village.
Somalia has heightened operations against Al-Shabaab for the last seven months, killing about 600 militants in the process. To further frustrate the attackers, the government has incorporated religious scholars in trying to prevent the radicalization of hopeless youths who are lured into the group.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has also tightened loopholes for Al-Shabaab finances with the group losing millions of dollars from banks and mobile money transfer firms associated with them. Business owners who have been remitting taxes to the militants have also been warned, with some risking cancellation of their licenses.