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UPDATE: Al-Shabaab attacks ATMIS base in Lower Shabelle; no casualties reported

Sunday November 19, 2023


Mogadishu (HOL) - Al-Shabaab militants have reportedly targeted an African Union ATMIS (African Union Transition Mission in Somalia) on Saturday night in the Bulo Mareer district, Lower Shabelle region. The base is primarily staffed by Ugandan forces.

The African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) Force Spokesperson, Lt Col Mwachinalo, told Hiiraan Online that the attack was a failed raid, which did not result in any casualties. 

“Last night at Buulomareer at around 2100 hrs, suspected Al Shabaab fighters estimated to be around 5-8 probed the FOB at Buulomareer using small arms from Eastern direction. ATMIS Forces reacted with shelling at the suspected position of the attackers. Checking the area in the morning, the trails of the suspected Al Shabaab were not visible as it had rained the whole night. Nonetheless, spent cartridges were found,” he added.

This latest attack is part of a troubling pattern in the region. In May 2023, Al-Shabaab launched a similar offensive against the same ATMIS base, resulting in numerous fatalities among soldiers and the loss of several military vehicles.

ATMIS, a peacekeeping mission in Somalia, has been a frequent target of Al-Shabaab, an Islamist militant group. These ongoing attacks raise concerns about regional stability and the effectiveness of current peacekeeping strategies.

Bulo Mareer has a history of conflict and significance in the region. It was once a stronghold of Al-Shabaab and witnessed a notable 2013 military operation where French commandos attempted to rescue a hostage. The town was later secured by Somali government forces and AMISOM troops in 2014 and was the site of the 2018 African Union base attack.

This story has been updated with additional developments.


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