The Somali State announces a historic victory, the Shebab fight back

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The Somali State announces a historic victory, the Shebab fight back

The Somali government had just announced a “historic victory” against the Shebab, after the resumption of a strategic coastal city. But the Islamists have not given up the fight. On Tuesday, they launched a deadly attack on a military base north of Mogadishu.

Conflicting figures have been put forward by different sources on the number of soldiers killed during this assault on the Hawadley military camp, located about 60 kilometers north of the Somali capital.

Army chief Odowaa Yusuf Rage told state radio that five soldiers, including an officer, were “martyred to death” there. Earlier, Mohamed Osman, a commander of an allied militia in power near Hawadley, contacted by AFP, had announced a death toll of 11 soldiers.

Shebab at war with the state since 2007

“The jihadists first detonated a vehicle loaded with explosives, then attacked” the military camp, said Mohamed Osman. The attack was claimed by Shebab, a group affiliated with Al-Qaeda.

The Hawadley base had been retaken from Al-Shabaab last October by government forces and their clan militia allies.

Tuesday’s attack “demonstrates the ability of Al-Shabaab to produce homemade bombs and deploy them in the state of Hirshabelle,” Omar Mahmood, Somalia researcher at the International Crisis Group, told AFP.

The Shebab have been fighting the federal government supported by the international community since 2007. Driven out of the main cities of the country in 2011 and 2012, they remain firmly established in vast rural areas.

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