Somalia: Army Colonel, 3 soldiers killed in Al-Shabab ambush
BURHAKABO, Somalia - A Somali army colonel and three soldiers were killed following an attack on his convoy by Al-Shabab militants in Baay region in Southern Somalia on Monday, Garowe Online reports.
Lieutenant colonel Abdirahman Osman Abrone, the Commander of Southwest regional forces in Burhakaba district was killed along with his bodyguards in the raid near Deynuney located on the outskirts of Baidoa city.
Abrone's convoy came under heavy fire in an ambush by Islamists shortly after leaving Burhakabo for Baidoa early in the day.
The Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab has immediately claimed responsibility for the Colonel's killing through a message carried out by its mouthpiece radio Andalus channel.
Southwest state is yet to release a statement concerning the attack which left the army colonel dead, the first high-ranking Somali military commander to be killed by the Islamists in this year.
Al-Shabab fighters are still active in the rural areas and small villages along the main highway linking Mogadishu to Baidoa and often carries out ambushes on Somali and AU forces.
Southwest state officials use planes to travel to towns in Lower Shabelle, Baay and Bakool regions instead of land trips due to the rampant attacks by the extremists.
Somali National Army [SNA] forces backed by 22,000 AU peacekeepers have driven out Al-Shabab from vast swathes of the country, including Mogadishu and other key towns during a decade-long battle.
Despite being ejected from main strongholds, Al-Shabab still manages to stage deadly attacks and killings in the areas recaptured by the allied troops, including in the capital, Mogadishu.