Press "Enter" to skip to content

Al Shabab attack on military camp kills soldiers in Somalia

Al Shabab terrorists have killed at least seven soldiers at a Somali military base in a town retaken by the government, the information ministry and militant group said. 

Friday’s attack was eventually repelled, an officer at the base in the central Somali town of Galcad told Reuters news agency. 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 Shabab poses for Somalia’s military, even after a government offensive launched last year scored significant success against the al Qaeda-allied militants.

Al Shabab terrorists 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.

Somalia’s information ministry said in a statement that in addition to Al Shabab killing seven soldiers, their soldiers had killed 100 of the group’s militants and destroyed five gun-mounted pick-up vehicles known as technicals.

In a statement Al Shabab said it had “miraculously overrun the US-trained forces” in the town and killed scores of soldiers.

The government and Al Shabab often give different casualty numbers from the same attack.

Somalia recaptures key port from Al Shabab

Years of violence

The group has been fighting since 2006 to topple the country’s central government and install its own rule.

Drones deployed to help reinforce the military carried out bombings against the militants and chased them out of the town, Abdullahi said.

Government forces just this week seized Galcad and the port town of Harardhere in Somalia’s Galmudug region from Al Shabab control, a major success for the ongoing government offensive.

Galcad resident Abdullahi Nur told Reuters he heard huge blasts at the base, followed by heavy fighting and air strikes early on Friday.

“We have been celebrating the liberation of the town but it is now covered with smoke. May God save us,” he said.

READ MORE: Dozens killed in central Somalia car bombings

Türkiye ‘stands by’ Somalia

The Turkish Foreign Ministry reacted to the “heinous terrorist attack”, offering condolences to the dead Somali soldiers on behalf of the nation.

In a statement issued on Friday, the ministry said: “We are deeply saddened to learn that many soldiers lost their lives and were injured in the terrorist attack that took place today (20 January) against the military bases in the Galgadud region of Somalia.

Some of the wounded are under treatment at the Mogadishu Recep Tayyip Erdogan Training and Research Hospital, it said.

“We condemn this heinous terrorist attack, which will not hinder Somali National Army’s determination in its fight against the terrorist organization, in the strongest possible terms.”

“We wish Allah’s mercy upon those who lost their lives, extend our condolences to the relatives as well as to the friendly and brotherly people and the Government of Somalia, and wish a speedy recovery to the injured.

“Türkiye will continue to stand by Somalia in its fight against terrorism.”

More from AfricaMore posts in Africa »

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *