Somalia's al Shabaab attacks base in town it recently lost, kills at least five

The group has been fighting since 2006 to topple the country's central government and install its own rule, based on a strict interpretation of Islam

Reuters
Published : 20 Jan 2023, 10:03 AM
Updated : 20 Jan 2023, 10:03 AM

Islamist al Shabaab militants on Friday killed five soldiers at a Somali military base in a town recently re-captured by the government, troops and residents said.

The attack was eventually repelled, an officer at the base in the central Somali town of Galcad said. He said the dead included the base's deputy commander, who was part of a US-trained unit stationed there.

The attack underscores the formidable threat al Shabaab poses for Somalia's military, even after a government offensive launched last year scored significant success against the al Qaeda-allied militants.

Al Shabaab fighters stormed the Galcad base early on Friday, exploding car bombs and firing their weapons, Captain Issa Abdullahi said.

The base is run by Danab, a unit of US-trained commandos who have participated in the offensive against the militants.

"So far we know the deputy commander of the Danab commando force, Major Hassan Mohamed Osman (Ture) and four others were killed," Abdullahi said.

In a statement al Shabaab claimed responsibility, saying it had "miraculously overrun the US-trained forces" in the town and killed scores of soldiers.

The group has been fighting since 2006 to topple the country's central government and install its own rule, based on a strict interpretation of Islam.

Drones deployed to help reinforce the military carried out bombings against the militants and chased them out of the town, Abdullahi said, adding ten insurgents had been killed in the operation.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher