A fresh Al-Shabaab attack has murdered 15 Somali soldiers as the group retrieved its stronghold – a town northeast of the capital Mogadishu on Sunday. This is a day after government forces won the town from the militant, the military said.
Islamist group Al-Shabaab however made a contrary claim following the military announcement. Based on the group’s statement, it had slaughtered 32 soldiers in the raid.
The casualty figure from the attack could not be independently verified. But it is worthy of note that the group fighting to remove Somali’s Western-backed government has inflated death tolls in her past attacks. Captain Nur Ali confirmed the attack and revealed that it happened on early hours of Sunday in the town of Runirgood, about 180 km to the north east of Mogadishu.
Reuters quoted Major Abdullahi Omar, a second army officer, as saying on the phone:
“Al Shabaab used a suicide car bomb to penetrate a military base. It exploded and then fierce fighting followed. At least 15 soldiers died,”. “The soldiers (at the base) were few and there were no AMISOM or other military nearby for reinforcement. We killed more than 10 militants in fighting on Saturday and Sunday.”
Locals of Runirgood disclosed that bodies of both Islamist Group al-Shabaab and government soldiers were seen lying around the town after the attack.
That notwithstanding, Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations, said its militants fighters had killed 32 soldiers and captured three vehicles. In a statement, the bloody spokesman said:
“It was a fierce battle and thank Allah, we recaptured the town,”.
Somalia’s government has been making efforts to make the Horn of Africa conducive and peaceful. But the struggle, which has lasted for over two decades, has seen numerous deaths inflicted on citizens, rebels, etc.
Islamist group Al-Shabaab took over vast parts of Somalia until 2011, when it was chased out of Mogadishu by African Union and Somali troops. The militant fighters are controlling some rural areas, but carries out regular attacks in the capital and other areas.
A week ago, a Somali government military base was raided by the militants who ended up massacring five soldiers close to the northwestern town of Baidoa. AMISOM soldiers have been battling the deadly group for long and recently, the group has lost several men in numerous intense attacks staged against her by the colluded governments.