Horn Dispatch Weekly Security Brief 01.30.24

Al-Shabab fighters in Somalia. (Photo credit: Courtesy)

Al-Shabab Launches Failed Attack on Military Bases in Central Region 

Somali militant group al-Shabab attacked government military bases with explosives, followed by heavy gunfire Wednesday in A’ad town in the central region.

The government forces thwarted the dawn attack and secured the bases after hours of fighting. 

The group published photos claiming to show the deadly assault on the military camps, showcasing dead soldiers, captured military vehicles and hostages. 

Somali forces liberated the town in early January after weeks of offensives in and around the town. 

Al-Shabab has lost many towns, but the group continues to pose a threat against government forces and the population. 

Somali Government Says al-Shabab Commanders Killed  

The Somali government says it targeted al-Shabab commanders in the town of Buq-aqable in the Hiiraan region.

The government operation against the terror group targeted two vehicles carrying wanted commanders, according to the state-run Somali National Television.

In a statement the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) said, “A joint operation by NISA and international partners destroyed Al-Shabaab vehicles and a Weapons Storage Center in Buq-aqable, resulting in significant losses for the group.

On Saturday and Thursday, the Somali government said it conducted airstrikes and security operations, killing more than 20 militants in Galgudud and Middle Shabelle regions. 

Al-Shabab Attack Ethiopia Army Base in Bay Region

Al-Shabaab fighters launched an attack on the Ethiopian army base at Dinsoor Airport.

Witnesses say they heard heavy gunfire and explosions as Ethiopian troops clashed with the militants.

Reports say that at least one Ethiopian soldier was injured in the confrontation that occurred Monday night at the airport base in Dinsoor district.

Al-Shabab said its fighters attacked the Somali government military camp in the Dinsoor district.

Al-Shabab Kills 5 Soldiers in Baidoa, Launches Attack in Qansahdheere 

Al-Shabab Kills Five Soldiers in Baidoa, Launches Attack in Qansahdhere District

Al-Shabab claims it targeted a base housing South West Federal State forces, killing five soldiers and injuring several others.

According to the group’s Somalimemo website, the militants engaged in a gun battle with the forces stationed in Baidoa and took control of the base, seizing military vehicles and weapons.

Al-Shabab carried out another attack in El Mashrooq, in the Qansahdhere district, targeting militias stationed at a front base. 

The militias had acted as a defensive barrier for the Ethiopian army, which has a military base there. However, the exact number of casualties from this attack is not known.

Jubaland to Launch Offensive Against al-Shabab

Jubaland and Somali forces are planning an offensive against al-Shabab militants, the security minister of Jubaland state, Yusuf Hussein Osman, said.

Speaking to reporters on the outskirts of the port city of Kismayo, Osman said his fighters, with the help of the Somali national army, will liberate areas from al-Shabab.

“We will not rest until we retake the last pocket of Al-Shabaab. Our gallant soldiers and the Somali national army are in their final preparation to begin the all-out offensive soon,” said Osman, also known as Dhumaal.

The al-Qaeda-linked terror group controls many areas in the Lower and Middle Juba regions, which is under the Jubaland federal state.

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