Al-Shabaab militants killed in police station attack in Somalia
MOGADISHU, Somalia - At least two Al-Shabaab militants were on Saturday night killed in Jalalaqsi, following an attack that targeted a police station, officials said, in the increasing wave of violence instigated by the militants, who have been wreaking havoc in the Horn of Africa nation.
Officials said the militants, in dozens, attacked a police station within the town in Somalia, leading to a fierce gunfight with the Somali Police who were manning the town, that lasted for several hours leading to casualties as several others sustained injuries.
According to the police, no officer was injured during the incident, but a number of militants were badly wounded. After failing to contain the police, the militants are said to have disappeared to nearby bushes but an operation has since been launched in pursuit of them according to authorities.
It was the first attack targeting a police station in Somalia in as many months according to officials. However, the militants have often been Somali National Army bases across the country, since they regard the military as an existential threat to their agenda of toppling the government.
More often than not, they have succeeded in raiding military bases, although they have often been thwarted in the recent past. The last devastating attack against the military was in January when they managed to penetrate the El-Salini military base within Lower Shabelle.
Elsewhere, the Al-Shabaab militants detonated explosives of Mayor Mohamed Nur who was not at home but his three children survived the attack. It's not clear why the militants targeted the official but they have often done so against senior government officials.
For instance, the group killed Mudug and Nugal governors early this year following a raid at Galkayo and Garowe respectively. The militants are known for targeting senior government officials across the country regardless of their status in government according to officials.
Since March this year, there have been several joint military operations against the Al-Qaeda linked group in Somalia. The Somali National Army [SNA], African Union Mission Forces [AMISOM], and the US Africa Command have been targeting the militants across the country and the operations have so far been termed as a "success".
The military officers have been targeting central and southern Somalia where the militants are said to be having a firm group according to officials. Reports indicate that top commanders like Bashir Qorab and Abdulkadir Commandos have been killed in joint military operations further weakening Al-Shabaab.
Since 2008, the group has been fighting to control the fragile UN-backed Somalia administration but have not yet succeeded. The Somalia government is expected to take over major security responsibilities from next year once the Somali Transition Plan [STP] is fully implemented.