Senior Somali army commander injured in Al-Shabaab attack
MOGADISHU, Somalia - A senior commander with the Somali National Army [SNA] is among those who were injured in an Al-Shabaab Improvised Explosive Device explosion within Gedo, sources say, during a covert operation that targeted the militants in some of the hideouts within the region.
Major Mohamed Dhere was leading troops in a reinforcement mission to the Korey area which Al-Shabaab had attacked a number of soldiers who were leading operations in the region. He is in critical condition according to multiple sources who spoke to Garowe Online.
Sources said the attack happened near Bardhere in the Gedo region, which has been witnessing Al-Shabaab attacks in as many years. The attack also left three soldiers critically injured and was rushed to a nearby hospital where they are undergoing treatment.
Before the attack, reports indicate, government sources had killed an Al-Shabaab operative about 10 kilometers from Bardhere town. It’s after that killing that government forces called for reinforcements which led the commander to lead additional troops to the site.
Cases of Al-Shabaab militants targeting security forces are quite common in Somalia, a country that has struggled with instability for over three decades. The militants target senior security officers, government officials, and innocent civilians through IEDs and VBIEDs.
The attack comes a few hours after the Al-Shabaab militants also targeted Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] within the Gedo region between Dhobley and Hosingow. According to preliminary reports, at least seven KDF soldiers were killed but the AMISOM team is yet to confirm the attack.
Al-Shabaab controls large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia but the group has lost substantially in the last couple of months following ongoing operations within the country. The security forces have managed to secure several towns in the country.