SNA commander among those killed in Al-shabaab ambush
SOMALIA, MOGADISHU- A top military officers from the Somali National Army [SNA] was among those killed in the unprecedented ambush waged by the Al-shabaab militants on Wednesday in Afgoye, at least 30 kilometers West of Mogadishu, in an attack that remains the worst in the recent history.
Al-shabaab militants ambushed soldiers who were on a regular patrol in the outskirts of Afgoye leading up a fierce gunfight that lasted for several hours on Wednesday according to officials. The military officers were in two trucks and had been assigned to patrol the region.
Lt. Col Abdalla Ali Mire was among the officers who were killed by the militants according to official reports by the government. He was the commander of the unit which was ambushed and neutralised by Al-shabaab, who have been targeting military bases across the country.
He becomes the latest senior officer in as many months to be killed by Al-shabaab militants. The government paid tributes to the solders who died during the ambush and promised to ensure that perpetrators were brought on book as soon as possible.
Somali army killed 61 al-Shabab militants during the ambush near the town of Afgoye, some 30 km west of the capital Mogadishu, police confirmed on Thursday, also the highest number of the militants to be killed in a single operation according to sources.
Dhame Sadik Adan, a police spokesman, said 18 soldiers died after the insurgents ambushed Somali National Army [SNA] troops on their routine patrol in an area near the town of Afgoye on Wednesday afternoon.
"A group of militants ambushed the SNA soldiers who were on their routine patrol near Afgoye town. The army fought hard, killing 61 militants. The SNA lost 18 of its soldiers in the ambush," Adan told Xinhua on the phone.
"The fighting started at around 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday and ended at 3:00 a.m. on Thursday," he said, noting that the soldiers fought hard but were overwhelmed by a large number of al-Shabab attackers.
The latest incident is one of the deadliest attacks this year by al-Shabab which has stepped up their assault against the government and African Union Mission in Somalia bases across south and central parts of the Horn of Africa nation, conducting ambushes and planting landmines.