Nine individuals were designated by the U.S. Treasury Department while an additional five were also blacklisted by the U.S. State Department.
Exact numbers are still unknown, but Shabaab is feared to have killed at least a dozen people in retaliatory suicide bombings as it faces severe military challenges across central Somalia.
Shabaab faces one of the largest counter-offensives against it in recent years. However, to be successful, Somalia must also work to effectively hold liberated areas and not just conduct clearing operations.
The two claims of responsibility now confirms that both al Qaeda and the Islamic State are active inside the small West African country.
The Sanaag Region, a territory contested by both Somalia and Somaliland, witnessed its first suicide bombing yesterday. No group has officially taken credit, though Shabaab is widely suspected given its history in the area.
Shabaab’s recent hotel siege in Mogadishu, beginning on Friday and ending early Sunday, signals the severe challenges that remain in combating the al Qaeda branch.
Almost 30 people have been killed in a series of jihadist attacks – many of which happened near simultaneously – across northern Togo over the last few days.
Hundreds of prisoners, including an unclear number of jihadists, remain free following a massive jailbreak just outside the Nigerian capital of Abuja earlier this week. The Islamic State has said its men were behind the raid.