Somali troops repulse Al-Shabaab attack at military base in Gedo
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A contingent of the Somali National Army [SNA] troops repulsed an Al-Shabaab attack at an army base in Gedo, officials said, just over a week after the Al-Qaida linked group raided a base in the Somali capital Mogadishu, killing over eight governments soldiers according to reports.
The Al-Shabaab militants have been targeting military outposts in their number of sporadic attacks within Somalia and across borders, a strategy aimed at neutralizing security forces by destroying their various Forward Operating Bases according to General Yusuf Rageh, who is the SNA boss.
On Saturday, the militants opened fire in a bridge near a military post in Burdhubo town within the Gedo region, which is located in the notorious Middle Juba, a common hideout for the militants, who have caused chaos in the war-torn country, whose stability now remains a utopia.
Reports indicate that fierce fighting between the government troops who were recently deployed in the region and the Al-Shabaab militants broke out, and lasted for around 30 minutes after the soldiers regained ground. The government troops engaged the militants who would later scamper for their safety.
Officials said that nobody was injured during the attack, adding that normalcy had been restored after the attempted raid. The militants are said to have disappeared to neighboring thickets and the government said that a manhunt has been launched to help trace them for the purpose of securing the region.
Gedo has been witnessing intensified military activities in recent months involving security forces at the Al-Shabaab militants. Officers were chosen from both our Kenyan Defense Forces and Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] man most parts of Gedo, but there is also a presence of SNA troops.
The two contingents of foreign troops are helping Somalia to establish a formidable government and the Gedo region has been one of their major targets. This is the fourth time Al-Shabaab militants are targeting a military post within Jubaland state within a span of five years.
For instance, in June, the militants targeted Bilis Qooqani and Dhobley army bases which host the Jubaland forces, but an intervention from the KDF team managed to salvage the situation. Several militants were killed in both occasions according to a statement which was issued by KDF.
Previously, there have been similar attempts in military bases as well, with KDF team bearing brunt of most of them. In 2016, the militants waged a successful attack against KDF military base at El-Adde in the Gedo region which left close to 200 soldiers, mainly forming a company, dead.
A year later, the KDF team also lost about 70 soldiers at the Kulbiyow army base after the militants attacked again. These are the two worst army base attacks in Somalia within the last decade targeting foreign troops, who are involved in the peacekeeping process within the Horn of Africa nation.
Elsewhere, a grenade was thrown to a store in Kismayo still within Jubaland on Saturday evening and luckily, it didn't injure anyone. According to multiple reports, the grenade targeted a business conducted by one of the locals who had refused to part with Zakat, a special tax collected by the militants.
The Al-Shabaab militants have been wreaking havoc in Somalia for over 12 years but their ability has been significantly degraded due to frequent joint operations carried out by SNA, AMISOM, and US Africa Command troops. There are close to 7,000 active Al-Shabaab fighters in Somalia.