Somalia: Beletwein Under Curfew Following Series of Terrorist Attacks

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The Hirshabelle Federal State of Somalia slammed a tight curfew on Beletwein, the regional capital of Hiran region, following three successive bomb attacks that rocked the city earlier today.

At least twenty people were confirmed in the attacks and an unspecified but large number of people injured. Twenty-four of the more serious were air-lifted to Mogadishu for treatment in the afternoon.

The attacks targeted the regional headquarters, a popular market and a checkpoint following each other closely – a tactic that momentarily threw order into disarray with petrified residents scurrying to safety every which way.ImageAmong the killed, today, was Dr Zakariye Hurre (above), a young, brilliant doctor who was presently the Minister for Health with the Hirshabelle Federal State of Somalia. A number of ranking military and police officers fatally fell also under the attack.

Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Both the President of the state, Guudlaawe, and his Minister for Interior, blamed slack security at checkpoints.

The Minister, Abdi Dahir Guure, particularly, specifically scolded NISA and police at checkpoints for gross dereliction of duty, intimating that there may have been a degree of collusion in the process.

“Trucks heavily laden with explosives hit Lamagalay, the regional HQ, a densely crowded market and a fully-manned police station is beyond comprehension since all three have passed through successive checkpoints while entering the city,” he said.

Wary that the militant group may keep up the terror pressure on the town targeting both civilians and government personnel including uniformed security officers, the regional governor placed the city under curfew Tuesday evening.

Columns of heavily armed security officers and units from the military are patrolling the streets while also doubling up guard details at key government installations.

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Large hordes of voluntary ma’awisley units arm themselves to drive out al Shabab from command posts in between Bal’ad and Jowhar towns of Hirshabelle – only 30kms and 90kms north of Mogadishu, respectively.

Clan militias in the region have recently made inroads into Shabab territories uprooting the group from a good number of administrative and military posts. Following the ‘Ma’awisley’  – as they are called, gains, the Somalia SNA, ATMIS, the US and Turkey all joined the drive with each inflating its role in the operations.The combination of AMISOM and government troops only succeeded to drive away the group’s visible presence in major urban centers but failed to push them back to the interior or wipe them all together. The group, it has been often reported, only went underground even in those cities but, however, still managed to levy taxes on businesses bagging in millions of US Dollars per year.

Shabab and Daesh controlled large areas in the Hirshabelle, Puntland, Southwest, Jubbaland and Benadir federal states establishing posts more often than not at places a stone’s throw from military and AMISOM/ATMIS outposts and district and regional HQs.

 

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