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Somalia: ISIL-linked faction steps up attacks in Mogadishu

By Staff Reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - As the car bombings declined sharply in Mogadishu for the past few months, the targeted assassinations are on the rise with more than 50 people killed since last May, Garowe Online reports.

The city's security has been dramatically improved after Somali government has deployed additional forces on the main street junctions, searching routinely the private and public vehicles to avert terrorist attacks.

Despite this, the seaside Horn of Africa country's capital has seen surge in assassinations by Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab group and pro-ISIL militants targeting security force members, civil servants and Elders who participated in last parliamentary vote.

Armed men said to be members of the pro-Islamic State faction in Somalia have and shot and killed least 3 people - two Somali soldiers and a civilian in Mogadishu and nearby Elasha Biyaha village on Friday, June 29.

The victims of the latest attack include a student whose name has been identified as Shador Dahir Hassan. He was killed outside w mosque in the outskirts of the city, according to the law enforcement sources.

This shooting was filmed by ISIS militants who claimed responsibility for the attack through a video confirmation on Amaq News - an ISIS-linked news outlet that is often the first point of publication for claims of responsibility-

-ISIL footprint in Somalia-

The increase in strength of the ISIL spin-off group has attracted attention because some security officials fear it could offer a safe haven for Islamic State militants fleeing military defeat in Syria or Iraq.

In October 2015, Sheikh Abdulkadir Mumin, a former high-ranking member and spiritual leader of Al-Shabaab has pledged allegiance to Islamic State in the mountainous Puntland region of northeastern Somalia.

The move that further fractured the Somali-based Jihadi group allowed ISIL farther spread its reach into the East Africa.

Mumin’s group has been slowing increasing its activity over the past two years. In October 2016, it occupied the ancient port of town of Qandala in Bari region, marking the first instance of ISIS securing control of a town in Somalia. .

The group lost Qandala, some 75km east of Bosaso, the commercial city of Puntland to the regional forces in December in the same year following days of battle that left scores of fighters and soldiers dead.


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