Al-Shabaab Claims Somalian Village in Deadly Attack
Islamist militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed a village in southern Somalia after an attack on a local military base killed at least 10.
Spokesman Mohamed Hussein Shine said four militants were killed in the attack, but gave no indication of how many troops were lost in the battle. Local witnesses have counted at least six bodies of government soldiers, although Al-Shabaab claims it killed 15 troops in the siege.
Local witnesses have been left with little option but to watch and wait to see how the situation unfolds. The government’s army insists it will regroup to claim the village back, however, residents are at the mercy of Al-Shabaab militants for now.
“We can now see al-Shabaab fighters controlling the village,” one resident told DPA. “There is really a frightening situation here this morning.”
A military commander who requested not to be named confirmed the government’s intention to claim back the southern Somali village.
“Our troops are not far from the area, and we are sending reinforcements to retake it from the terrorists,” said the Mogadishu commander.
The attack comes after a bloody start to 2016 for Somalia, following a string of attacks in the capital Mogadishu. Roughly 600 African Union (AU) troops were deployed in the nearby city of Kismayo on Sunday, which appears to have prompted this particular attack.
Al-Shabaab forces are attempting to oust the government, which is backed by Western powers and utilises foreign troops to stave off the militant group. There are more than 20,000 AU troops currently in Somalia, as the country’s fight against Al-Shabaab stretches for almost ten years.