The Al Qaeda branch claims its men enacted “heavy losses” to AMISOM and Kenyan troops in southern Somalia. African Union troops and the Somali government have stated otherwise, however.
Shabaab has now assassinated four high-ranking Somali military personnel in the same general vicinity.
A US airstrike reportedly targeted Shabaab militants as they went on the offensive following the deadly terrorist attack in Nairobi.
Al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa “still maintained control over large portions of the country” and “retained the ability to carry out high-profile attacks” in 2017 despite increased targeting by the US military, the African Union, and the Somali government.
Shabaab has managed to launch 418 attacks of different types during the six-month timeframe in support of its persistent and ongoing insurgency against Somalia’s weak central government and allied African Union forces.
Shabaab has claimed a number of attacks in recent days across southern Somalia, including briefly recapturing the strategic town of Balad just north of Mogadishu.
The US military has stepped up its attacks on al Qaeda’s branch in East Africa after the jihadist outfit has regained ground over the past two years. AFRICOM has targeted Shabaab 10 times since the beginning of June.
The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) says that 12 Ugandan soldiers were killed in an ambush by Shabaab yesterday. The al Qaeda branch claims the casualties were much higher and a local official told the press that 24 bodies were carried away from the scene.