Tuesday, January 17, 2023 – 11:14 am
Eleven soldiers were killed in an attack on an army camp claimed by Islamist extremists from al-Shabaab, a local militia commander told AFP a day after the government announced the return of the strategic city.
“The jihadists first blew up a car filled with explosives and then attacked an army camp in Hawadli,” 60 kilometers north of the capital Mogadishu, said Mohamed Othman, commander of a local militia allied with the authorities.
He added that 11 military personnel, including a commander of a military unit, were killed and “dozens of terrorists were killed,” with al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab Movement claiming responsibility for the attack. .
Since 2007, Al-Shabaab has been fighting the internationally backed federal government. After the expulsion of its fighters from the country’s major cities in 2011-2012, they settled in vast rural areas.
Hassan Sheikh Mahmoud’s government, which has vowed to launch an “all out war” against the group, sent military forces, including special forces, in September to support militias known as “Makawisli” opposing al-Shabaab.
And allowed this campaign, backed by African Union forces in Somalia and US airstrikes, to reclaim vast areas in two states in the center of the country; These are Khairshabel and Galmudug.
On Monday, the Somali army recaptured the coastal town of Harardere, which the authorities consider “strategic” and which is located 500 km north of the capital and has been under the control of Al-Shabaab since 2010.