1/29/2023
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At least 10 soldiers killed in al-Shabaab attack on Somali military base


Wednesday January 18, 2023

At least 10 soldiers were killed and several wounded in an al-Shabaab attack on a military base in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region on Tuesday morning.

The deadly assault on a base in Hawadley, some 60 kilometers (37 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu, began with a suicide car bombing, according to Ahmed Ibrahim, a security official in the area.

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“There was heavy fighting between the army and the terrorists. The death toll could rise,” he told Anadolu.

Local clan militias who are supporting the Somali military’s anti-terrorism efforts are also housed at the base, he said.

Among the 10 confirmed fatalities so far is Col. Abshir Mahmud Mohamed, a battalion commander of the Somali army, according to Ibrahim.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, which came a day after the al-Qaeda affiliate lost control of the strategic towns of Haradhere and Galcad in the central Galmudug state.

The terror group claimed to have killed 63 soldiers, including a senior military commander, in the assault.

The Somali army, backed by local militias, has been engaged in a sweeping offensive against al-Shabaab since last year after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared “all-out war” on the terrorist group.

Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with al-Shabaab and Daesh/ISIS being among the main threats.

The UN has warned of growing instability in the country, issuing periodic reports last year that detailed attacks by al-Shabaab and pro-Daesh/ISIS terror groups.

There were at least 1,518 civilian casualties – 651 killed and 867 injured – in terror attacks in Somalia in 2018, followed by 1,459 – 591 killed and 868 injured – in 2019, according to UN estimates.



 





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