Senior military commander among soldiers killed in Somalia attack


MOGADISHU, Somalia - Al-Shabaab attack killed a senior army commander and five soldiers in Hawaadley village on Tuesday, in the latest attack that comes amid sustained military operations within the Horn of Africa nation which has been struggling with instability.

Through proxy media organizations, the Al-Shabaab claimed to have killed the senior commander, terming the operation successful. The Al-Shabaab has often targeted security officers in the Horn of Africa nation and at times civilians leading to sustained military operations in the country.

According to reports, Colonel Abshir Mohamud Mohamed Shataqey was among those reportedly among the number of soldiers killed in the Hawaadley Al-Shabaab attack. The militants used VBIEDs which caused casualties among the soldiers, sources said, adding that the attack was coordinated.

Somali army chief General Odowa Yusuf Rage said the troops repelled the attack and killed at least 21 militants while confirming the deaths of 5 soldiers at the base in Hawaadley, which fell to SNA in October 2022 during an offensive led by Shataqey, who died in Today's attack.

On Jan 9, the government reported foiling a raid by militants on a military camp in the Hawaadley area, killing over 60 militants. But in equal measure, the militants claimed that they had killed several military officers but did not immediately disclose the number, a claim which was disputed by the government.

However, despite the latest attack, the Somali National Army is said to be in control of the town. The militants are said to have waged sporadic attacks after losing strategic towns across the country. For the last five months, the Al-Shabaab militants have been on the receiving end, registering several deaths.

Al-Shabaab usually stages attacks and exaggerates the death toll as a strategy to claim fake victory against the government forces. But in recent weeks, the government has been strict on social media users and the media over the dissemination of fake information with the aid of Al-Shabaab.

The death of Colonel Abshir Mohamud Mohamed is the first death involving a senior military commander since the current operation started last year. President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has insisted that his administration will not tolerate Al-Shabaab, adding that it's incumbent upon locals to join the fight.


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