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Somalia: new attack by the shebab, seven soldiers killed

2023-01-20T16:19:34.805Z


Seven soldiers were killed in Somalia in an attack on a military camp claimed by radical Chebab Islamists, in a town...


Seven soldiers were killed in Somalia in an attack on a military camp claimed by radical Islamists Shebab, in a town recently taken over by pro-government forces, the Somali Information Ministry announced on Friday (January 20th).

The shebab "

launched an attack against a military base in Galcad

", a town located about 375 km north of the capital Mogadishu, the government announced in a statement, citing "

heavy fighting

".

Islamist attack

According to the authorities, seven soldiers, including a military commander, were killed, as well as a hundred chebab.

The attack was claimed by the shebab, a group affiliated with al-Qaeda.

The shebab "

detonated two trucks loaded with explosives before the start of the face-to-face fighting, they briefly managed to push the troops out of the camp, but the security forces arrived and the shebabs withdrawn

,” Galcad resident Abdilahi Rage told AFP by phone.

Gutale Mohamed, another resident of the town, said the fighting lasted "

about an hour

".

"Martyred"

Radical Islamists launched another attack on Tuesday, January 17, against a military camp in Hawadley, a town about 60 km north of Mogadishu.

Odowaa Yusuf Rage, head of the army, had declared on national radio that five soldiers, including an officer, had "

died as a martyr

".

Read alsoSomalia: al-Shabab's destabilization strategy

The day before, the Somali army had announced that it had taken over, without any fight, Harardhere, a port city located about 500 km north of Mogadishu and controlled since 2010 by the shebab.

The government had assured that the recovery of this "

strategic

" city constituted a "

historic victory

".

SEE ALSO

- Somalia: 21 civilians killed in a Shebab attack on a hotel in Mogadishu

A location in a rural area

The authorities had announced the same day the recapture of the city of Galcad, still without any fight, the chebab having left the place before the arrival of the pro-government forces.

"

Galcad is a significant attack because of the scale of the violence and the total number of casualties, but also because it occurred in an area recently taken over by government forces

," he told AFP. Omar Mahmood, Somalia researcher at the International Crisis Group.

The shebab also targeted an area where the Somali special forces were located

,” he continued.

Read alsoDominique Benneteau-Wood (Carrefour), Mayssa Chebab (Facebook), Justin Atkin (Port of Antwerp)

The shebabs have been fighting the federal government supported by the international community since 2007.

Driven out of the main cities of the country in 2011-2012, they remain firmly established in vast rural areas.

President Hassan Cheikh Mohamoud, who returned to power in May 2022, promised them "

total war

", and recently called their members "

bedbugs

".

The army in support of local militias

In September, the head of state sent the army (including special forces) to support local militias, known as "

macawisley

", which revolted against the shebab.

This offensive, supported by the African Union force in Somalia (ATMIS) and American airstrikes, made it possible to reconquer vast territories of two states in the center of the country, Hirshabelle and Galmudug.

Read alsoIn Kenya, al-Chebab attacks the Americans

The government notably claimed in early December to have taken over Adan Yabal, an emblematic locality of Hirshabelle held by the shebab since 2016 and presented as a "

training ground

" and a logistical node for the insurgents in the region.

But the shebabs continue to carry out bloody attacks in retaliation, underlining their ability to strike at the heart of Somali cities and military installations.

Multitudes of attacks

On October 29, two car bombs exploded in Mogadishu, killing 121 people and injuring 333 others, in the deadliest attack in five years in this Horn of Africa country, also affected by a historic drought.

Read alsoConversion of an ex-hostage to Islam: the double victory of the Somali Chebab

At the beginning of October, a triple attack in Beledweyne (center), capital of the province of Hiran, had also killed 30 people, including local officials.

In August, at least 21 guests of a hotel in Mogadishu were killed in a spectacular 30-hour assault.

The president announced that new contingents of Somali soldiers, trained in Eritrea, would soon be deployed as part of the anti-shebab operations.

SEE ALSO

- Somalia: a double car bomb attack leaves at least 100 dead in Mogadishu

Source: lefigaro

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