In the face of delayed or stalled offensive action taken against it, Shabaab seeks to rally its forces.
The massive raid comes as Shabaab is facing its biggest challenge to its rule and territory in over a decade.
Shabaab killed at least 100 people at the same place where it killed upwards of 500 civilians almost exactly five years ago.
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.
Shabaab claims it killed 173 Burundian troops in a large-scale assault on a military base in southern Somalia. Neither the African Union nor Burundi has commented on Shabaab’s casualty numbers.