Shabaab claims killing of scores of African Union fighters in Mogadishu


The picture above shows bodies that Shabaab claims are those of Burundian troops killed in Mogadishu. Image from the SITE Intelligence Group. More images can be seen at Radio Furqaan’s website.

Shabaab claimed it killed more than 100 African Union peacekeepers from Burundi and Uganda during heavy fighting two days ago in a suburb of the Somali capital of Somalia. The African Union denied the reports, and claimed that Shabaab faked the photographs of dead soldiers for propaganda purposes.

The al Qaeda-linked Shabaab released a photograph yesterday of what it claimed are the bodies of 76 African Union soldiers who were killed on Oct. 20 during heavy fighting in the Daynile district in Mogadishu. Shabaab also released a statement on the incident along with photographs of weapons and other military equipment it claimed were taken from the soldiers. The statement and photographs have been obtained by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Shabaab claimed it repulsed an Oct. 20 attack by African Union forces in Daynile, one of the remaining Shabaab strongholds in the capital, by setting up an ambush.

“Upon reaching the outskirts of Daynile neighborhood, bullets rained upon them from where they did not know,” Shabaab said in its statement. “Allah dispersed them and they incurred a bitter defeat. In the afternoon, the dust of battle had settled, and the mujahideen started to gather the booty and count the losses. The mujahideen counted on the ground more than a hundred bodies of Ugandan and Burundian forces, 76 of which were taken to Lafoole district in Islamic Lower Shabelle province, in the same afternoon as the battle.”

The bodies are displayed in two lines and then taper off into a single line. The bodies are dressed in military fatigues worn by Burundian forces. Also seen are flak vests, helmets, and canteens. Most of the fighters are seen wearing military-issue socks and boots. The soldiers all appear to have shaved heads and are without beards. Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage, Shabaab’s spokesman, displays a crucifix and a Bible supposedly seized [more of the gruesome images can be seen at Radio Furqaan’s website].

The African Union denied that Shabaab killed that many of its soldiers, but did state that 10 AU soldiers were killed and two were missing. A spokesman claimed that Shabaab dressed its own slain soldiers in uniforms it had previously stashed to stage a propaganda coup, according to the BBC. The African Union has suppressed high casualties to its own forces in the past, however.

Shabaab’s claim of killing scores of African Union forces takes place as the terror group’s strongholds in the south, including the port city of Kismayo, are under threat of takeover by Kenyan forces. The Kenyan government invaded southern Somalia on Monday and vowed to drive Shabaab from bases along the border. A Kenyan Army spokesman said that his country’s forces would take control of Kismayo.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • Lee says:

    So many dead…so little blood. Black socks, white socks, black and white socks. What the…..? Nice to see they were bandaged before they died.

  • zulfiqar says:

    what you think this is jehad ? or what are you doing is allah says to do?…………. no you people are wrong and doing wrong. islam never says like you are doing it is a rubish and you misguide the people.
    this is not a jehad……… it is a terrorism and humanity cruel ism and against the humanity.
    i am not agree with it.

  • Max says:

    Yeah, it is interesting that little or no blood is visible, not to mention no bullet wounds that I can see. Maybe I missed something, but I think the claim of being staged could have some merit. If these men were really killed in action you would expect to see plenty of blood and gore and damaged bodies, as we’ve all probably seen of the dead in Iraq and elsewhere.

  • zyzyxy says:

    do those look like somalis? staged??? this aint a drama.. its real. when they got killed ,, their dead were collected at some point to display to the media…
    plz check out this..

  • Eddie D. says:

    Count the days until the Kenyan govt. runs you out Shabaab, that would be closer to the actual count, I would bet.

  • JimBoMo says:

    I’m not so sure it is staged. @Lee, yeah, the bandage doesn’t make sense but there is lots of (some kind of) blood on the camis, helmets, gear, etc. Some of the arms above the heads appear to be in rigor (consistent positions from frame to frame). Some faces are covered w/dirt/dust and haven’t been wiped. Observers are holding their noses.
    Everything above can be staged – but, so far, other than the bandage I’ve seen nothing to contra-indicate photos of (at least some) dead soldiers

  • gill says:

    Looks staged to me!


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