Horn Dispatch Weekly Security Brief 12.26.23

Maalim Ayman (Photo Credit: Courtesy)

Somali, US Operation Kills al-Shabab Commander 

Somali and US officials say a senior al-Shabab leader was killed in an airstrike near the city of Jilib.

“Maalim Ayman, a senior leader of al-Shabab, was confirmed to have been killed in a joint operation by the Somali national army with assistance from US forces on December 17th,” Somalia’s information minister, Daud Aweis said on X on Thursday.

Ayman, who has a $10 million bounty on his head, was accused of planning terror attacks that have claimed the lives of 148 students at Garissa University in Kenya and the death of three Americans at a military base in Manda Bay, Lamu County on January 2020.

Somali president has vowed to defeat al-Shabab since coming to power in May 2022, and his government continues to carry out offensive against militant groups in central regions.  

Al-Shabab Video Shows Attack on Somali Forces 

Somali militant group al-Shabab has released a video showing the bodies of dead soldiers and the group fighters seizing armored vehicles.

The four-minute, 46-second propaganda video shows the purported Wednesday attack on the outskirts of Amara town in the Mudug region.

Al-Shabab said it ambushed Somali government forces in El Harare near Amara.

The group’s shadow governor, Mudug region, Hassan Abu Hamza, said their fighters killed 15 soldiers in the attack.  

Hormuud Company Properties, Employees Under Attack in Mogadishu

Unknown attackers are attacking trucks owned by Hormuud Telecommunication company in Somalia.

Last week, two trucks were targeted in the Huruwaa district in Mogadishu, resulting in the death of one of the company employees.

These attacks on Hormuud’s vehicles and facilities have been increasing recently, leading to the deaths of two employees and injuries to others, as well as significant property damage. 

No one has claimed for the attack against the company properties and employees. 

Warplanes Target al-Shabab Bases in Central Region 

Warplanes targeted al-Shabab in the Mudug region, destroying the militant group bases and hideouts. 

The operation targeted the Howdka Jeejeeh area between A’ad and Adaley, where the terrorists were gathering. 

Officials confirmed to the state media that the operation aimed to disrupt the terrorists’ activities, particularly their preparation of explosives.

Somali Security Officials Met to Improve Security of Liberated Area 

Somali government security officials and local leadership in the El Deer district in the Galgaduud region met last week to discuss improving security and relocating internally displaced persons in the area.

The commander of the 17th Brigade Gor Gor, Major Sahid Jama Farah, called on the local leaders and the residents to work with government security forces to improve the security of the area and report suspected al-Shabab activities.

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