A military base 70 km south of Mogadishu was attacked on 14th of august by Shebab Islamist fighters, who blew up car bombs and opened fire on the soldiers, AFP learned from military sources.
“After the explosions, they tried to break through our lines, but we pushed them back. We have pushed them back and we are pursuing them. Several soldiers were slightly wounded by shrapnel,” General Yusuf Rageh told reporters. A radio journalist integrated into the troops was killed in the attack, according to the Federation of Somali Journalists. Gacal Abdulle Gacal, 23, is the third journalist killed this year in Somalia, she said, calling for an investigation into the circumstances of his death.
The Shebab claimed to have “killed many soldiers” in this attack, which occurred in Awdheegle, a town that was taken from the Islamists last week by Somali security forces and soldiers of the African Union force in Somalia (Amisom). “A first explosion reached the main entrance of the base, followed a few minutes later by a second explosion. The blasts were deafening,” a witness, Muktar Dinle, told AFP by telephone. Another resident of the area, Mohamed Isak, said the shooting that followed the explosions lasted more than an hour. “We are locked in our homes, we don’t know exactly who controls what in the city,” he added.
Chased out of Mogadishu in 2011, the Shebab then lost most of their strongholds. But they still control large rural areas from where they conduct guerrilla operations and suicide attacks, including in the capital, against government, security or civilian objectives. They swore the loss of the Somali government, supported by the international community and by the 20,000 men of Amisom.
the intensification of joint operations
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and the Somali security forces will intensify their joint military operations in order to free the areas still in the hands of the terrorist group al-Shebab, an AU high-level envoy said Monday evening.
Francisco Madeira, head of ANISOM, made these remarks at an Eid el-Adha (or Eid el-Kebir) dinner organized for the Muslim community in Mogadishu. He stressed the importance of providing troops for the security of Somalia, adding that the country needs well-trained forces to be able to control the liberated territories.
The determination of AMISOM and the Somali Government to defeat the al-Shebab group remains unwavering, he noted.
On this occasion, he welcomed the recent liberation of Awdheegle, a city rich in agriculture located 70 km west of Mogadishu. Awdheegle had been a base for years where shebab people had gathered to plan and launch their operations.
He also commended the Somali government for considering the provision of troops as a priority, stressing that it is the Somali National Army (SNA) battalions that maintain order in the liberated territories.suo
He added that AMISOM would continue to support the strengthening of the Somali security forces following the recent success of joint military operations.