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Somalia: SNA forces repel militant attack on an army base

By Staff Reporter , GAROWE ONLINE

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Special Forces from Danab elite troops repulsed Al-Shabaab attack at any army base in Gedo region on Thursday night, reports indicate, in yet another significant progress against the Al-Qaida linked militants who have caused havoc in Somalia.

The unknown number of the militants, armed with sophisticated weapons, attacked Burdhubo army base which was recently established in Gedo but their attempts were repulsed forcing them to flee to nearby bushes.

A fierce gunfight ensued between the two sides with reports indicating that the militants were intending to detonate a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device, but the attempts were thwarted, in one of rare raid targeting the elite forces.

Gen. Abdihamid Mohamed said the militants were overpowered after few hours of gunfight, adding that no casualty was reported during the intensive clash. Also, no major destruction was reported.

"It's another huge success for our troops. They are determined to secure Somalia from these enemies of progress," said the field commanding officer. "We shall do all we can to ensure they are completely dismantled."

It's the first time Al-Shabaab militants were targeting Danab troops within Gedo, a region within Jubaland state. The troops were recently stationed in there amid escalating divisions between President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and regional leader Ahmed Madobe.

Incidentally, the attack came just over 48 hours after a similar attempt was reported in Bilis Qooqani, within Jubaland. Over 20 Al-Shabaab militants targeted an army base belonging to Jubaland forces, but a swift response by neighboring Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] salvaged the situation.

Col. Zipporah Kioko, the KDF spokesperson, said that "the Al-Shabaab lost control, were forced to retreat after our troops acted swiftly to help the JSF. The Jubaland soldier who was injured is receiving treatment in one of AMISOM bases".

Sectors II and VI of Jubaland is manned by the KDF troops in AMISOM under the command of Brig. Paul Njema. Also manning sections of Gedo are the Ethiopian troops, whose presence in the region remains contentious given that a number of them are not enlisted in AMISOM.

But on Friday, the militants also claimed to have run over two KDF military bases in Hosingow and Kulbiyow within Lower Jubba, with some residents confirming that huge explosions were heard. However, Garowe Online could not independently verify the alleged attack.

Should the KDF team confirm the raid, it will be the first successful raid waged by the militants against KDF troops in three years. The militants attacked El-Adde and Kulbiyow army bases in 2016 and 2017 respectively, inflicting massive casualties on the Kenyan forces.

Importantly, the success against the militants also comes amid ongoing crackdown against the Al-Shabaab across the country, which has seen a number of them arrested, injured or killed by allied forces.

On Wednesday, Gen. Ismael Abdimalik, the Danab forces commander confirmed the death of Al-Shabaab commander, who was positively identified as Hashim, during an operation at Leego town in Lower Shebelle.

The slain commander, he noted, had been coordinating mafia-style taxation, in which local business community parts with Zakat, which aids illegal operations of the militants across Somalia. He had been running a custom office within the town at the time of killing, he said.

"We successfully raided an Al-Shabaab taxation office and killed one of the most wanted terrorist in Somalia," he said. "We are glad that our gallant troops were able to down him, and this is great news to our nation as we work hard to defeat these militants."

It's not clear which foreign team helped the Somali National Army [SNA] troops to execute the sophisticated operation in an area controlled by the Al-Shabaab. However, Africa Union forces usually help the Somali troops during ground combats.


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