Somalia, the massacre continues

(To Antonino Lombardi)

Al-Shabaab strikes again1. This time the toll of the attack against a Somali army base perpetrated by the Islamic extremist group has caused more than one hundred deaths (the numbers differ between government data and those claimed by Al-Shabaab). Yesterday in Galcad, a strategic city located 375 kilometers north-east of the capital, in the Galgudud region, a severe blow was delivered to the fragile state of the Horn of Africa, the bloodiest since last August when the government undertook a total war on local jihadism. Car bombs were used in the attack and immediately afterwards, according to witnesses, a firefight between terrorists and soldiers ensued. According to government officials, Hassan Tuurre, deputy commander of the Danab special forces brigade, also lost his life "Lightning".

It was August 23, 2022 when President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, after an attack on a hotel in Mogadishu, declared in a statement "you I therefore urge you to prepare for an all out war against these ruthless [Al-Shabaab] people who are hostile to our peace”. And former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire also said "I once again urge the Somali people to unite to eradicate the Kharijite group".

After the hot autumn that saw dozens and dozens of victims fall, since the beginning of this year there have been several attacks carried out by the jihadist group. In the first days of January, in the province of Hiraan, a car bomb killed 26 people, including the head of the CID of the Beledweyne police station, Jamal Ahmed Jama, and exterminated an entire family of nine people. On 17 January, Al-Shabab attacked a Somali military base in the Middle Shabelle region, killing 11 soldiers. The early morning assault, which took place in the village of Hawadley, near Bal'ad district, began with the explosion of several car bombs followed by a firefight between militants and military personnel stationed at the base. The army reported that Colonel Abshir Mohamud Mohamed, also known as Shaqatey, commander of the 27a division of the Somali National Army's 3rd Battalion, was among the victims of the attack.

Al-Shabaab also "operates" in neighboring Kenya where, on Wednesday, Kenyan security forces killed 10 affiliates of the terrorist group. After a clash that took place near Galmagalla, in the province of Garissa, military material was also recovered, including rockets and IEDs. Other tragic episodes have taken place in the region in the last week. Some employees of the Kenyan highway authority were killed by a roadside bomb they were traveling on and on Tuesday 17, a grenade thrown at a convoy killed one person.

Although recently the Somali armed forces, with the help of ATMIS and the USA, have been reconquering some cities and areas, the fight against Islamic terrorism is really difficult. On Monday, the army retook the port city of Harardhere under the control of Al-Shabaab since 2010. In December, pro-government forces entered Adan Yabal's Hirshabelle after six years, where the jihadists set up their training camp of the region. Still at the end of 20222On December 14 and December 17, a total of fifteen militants were killed by US military operations (Africom). While on 22 December an air raid near Cadale killed six terrorists.

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