Turkey condemns Al-Shabaab attack on SNA's army base


ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey termed Al-Shabaab terror attack targeting a military base in the Somali capital Mogadishu "cowardly and irresponsible" in a tough statement released on Sunday, a day after the Al-Qaida linked group raided the base using a suicide car bomb.

In a statement, Al-Shabaab militants took responsibility for the attack at the April 12 military base in which eight Somali National Army [SNA] officers were killed on spot, leaving several others injured, in the second successful incident targeting a military base in Somalia.

Early this year, the militants, who have been targeting the military bases, raided El-Salini military camp in Lower Shebelle, killing at least 25 SNA soldiers. Since then, there have been attempting raids on AMISOM bases across Somalia but none of them have been successful.

And Ankara, which is a close ally of Somalia, condemned Saturday's attack, besides pledging to work closely with the Federal Government of Somalia to restore normalcy in the country which has struggled with terrorism for over 12 years. The Al-Shabaab first announced its presence in 2008 and has killed thousands since then.

Turkey further insisted that its cooperation with Somalia will continue for many decades to come despite pressing from "unnamed" quarters. Ankara also mourned with families of the deceased soldiers and wished those injured in the attack quick recovery.

“We received the news with deep sorrow that 8 people lost their lives and many were injured as a result of a suicide attack with a bomb-laden vehicle following a mortar fire to the base of ‪12 April Brigade in Mogadishu, Somalia,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

“We strongly condemn this heinous terrorist attack. We extend our condolences to the brotherly people of Somalia and to the Government of the Federal Republic of Somalia, wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives and a speedy recovery to the injured,” added the statement.

Turkey has strong historical ties with Somalia on the principle of “win-win” relations, including more than 150 development aid projects carried out by the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency since 2011. The European nation is a major financial donor for projects in Somalia.

With strong cooperation and ties with Somalia, Ankara has been a major target for Al-Shabaab militants. For instance, in June, the militants through a suicide bomber tried to run over a Turkish-run military base in Mogadishu in an incident that left one civilian dead, during the recruitment of cadets by the Turks.

Last year in December, Al-Shabaab militants also ambushed a Turkish convoy in Mogadishu in an attack that leftover 90 people dead. Al-Shabaab confirmed that it was targeting the Turkish convoy while apologizing to dozens of civilian families that were affected.

The Turkish Foreign Affairs department also condemned another terror attack last week in Eastern Burkina Faso which left over 20 people dead in a cattle market. It was a second attack by gunmen targeting a market in as many months and no group had taken responsibility yet.

“We are saddened by the news that many people lost their lives and were injured in a terrorist attack against a livestock market place in Namoungou village, in the eastern part of Burkina Faso, on 7 August 2020,” read the statement.

“We condemn this heinous terrorist attack. We extend our sincere condolences to the brotherly people and Government of Burkina Faso and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” the statement added.

Turkey is one of the European countries with a deep interest in Africa and is popular among the Arab League Nations where Somalia is part of them. However, in recent months, Ankara has been having issues with Egypt over the unending crisis in Libya, which has been struggling with insecurity like Somalia.


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