Somalia: Al Shabaab Targets AMISOM Contingent Near Bal’ad

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Somalia media outlets report at least two attacks Al Shabaab militants carried out on Burundian troops patrolling an area near Bal’ad of the Hirshabelle federal state of Somalia.

As part of the AU’s AMISOM peacekeeping forces in Somalia, the Burundian troops were on routine patrolling duty when one of their army personnel carriers was hit directly. A moment later, another of their vehicles, this time a supply truck, was blown up.

Both vehicles, eyewitnesses confirmed, were irreparably damaged.

Al Shabaab claimed, later, that a score of the soldiers riding the vehicles was either left dead or injured.

It is not clear yet whether the explosions that hit the vehicles were of landmines planted on the road or from rocket-propelled grenades. What is not contested, however, is an absence of a sighted physical engagement between the AMISOM troops and Al Shabaab fighters.

Galooley village is some 37 kilometers north of Mogadishu, the capital seat of the Somalia Federal Government, and only 7 kilometers outside the once industrial town of Bal’ad.

Although a degree of progress had been chalked up in containing Al shabaab supremacy in urban centers, the movement is not yet vanquished by a long shot and appears to be making its presence felt both in cities and outside of them picking up operations in the form of direct, head-on offensives on AMISOM bases, ambushes, targeted killings, IEDs and wayside landmines.

 

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