Al-Shabaab suffers heavy losses in Somalia

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - Saturday morning ambush by Al-Shabaab left at least 47 of them dead, the Somali National Army (SNA) has confirmed while acknowledging the death of five soldiers who encountered the militants during the fierce fighting.

Initial reports indicated that Al-Shabaab had overrun an army camp within El-Dheer in Galgaduud, but the Somali National Army denied the reports, insisting the army managed to kill 47 militants in three separate phases during the attack.

The Somali Army is still in pursuit of the remnants of the militants who fled from the scene after they met a huge defeat, the Ministry of Information said in a statement. Two military officers are among the government soldiers killed in the El-Dheer attack, according to multiple sources.

Online sources identified the two as Colonel Yonis Hassan Sabriye and Colonel Abdulle. Sabriye’s father, a legal advisor to the late mayor of Mogadishu, was killed in the suicide bombing at Mogadishu HQs in late July 2019 which claimed the life of Mayor Engineer Abdurahman Omar Osman.

The army managed to kill nine in the preliminary stages of the attack before killing 18 others later. After some time, through the assistance of international partners, 20 more militants were killed by an airstrike in an encounter that left 5 soldiers dead.

Al-Shabaab claimed to have killed 59 soldiers. Multiple sources said Somali government forces and local fighters came under a massive attack from the militants on Saturday. Al-Shabaab reportedly penetrated at least one of the camps. It is unclear if the soldiers in the camps retreated to another location or were overpowered.

Reinforcement forces that arrived from Masagaway town, south of El-Dheer ambushed Al-Shabaab and inflicted losses on the militant fighters, according to a source. The government account supports this account.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Defense Lieutenant Abukar Mohamed Hassan also mentioned the role reinforcement from Masagaway played in the fight. The attack on El-Dheer was not unexpected. For months, security observers believed Al-Shabaab was going to attack El-Dheer and Harardhere as both towns host forward operating bases.

Somalia has heightened campaigns against Al-Shabaab in central and southern regions, where operations have left thousands of the militants dead. The al-Shabaab militants have been fighting to topple the fragile UN-backed federal government of Somalia.

GAROWE ONLINE

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