“60 al Shabab killed and yet mortars still rain down on recently liberated town? Perplexing and bursty!”
On Thursday, May 11th, 2023, the town of Harardhere in Somalia was hit by not one, not two, but six bloody mortar shells. Despite the gravity of the situation, there were no reported casualties. According to government officials present during the attack, the explosive weapons landed in civilian villages, but no one can really say for certain how many people were affected. This ambiguous state of affairs only adds to the perplexity of the situation.
Last week, on Thursday, May 4th 2023, the Somali National Army conducted a joint military operation that resulted in the killing of 60 al-Shabaab militants. The mission targeted militants who were trying to regroup in the area. This occurred approximately 30 kilometers south of Harardhere in the hostile town of El-Qabobe. The operation was supposed to root out the extremist group but it seems there were still a few militants lurking around.
It is not clear who carried out the recent attack on Harardhere and no group has claimed responsibility yet. In the past, al-Shabab, a militant group that has pledged its allegiance to al-Qaeda, has frequently launched attacks on government-controlled villages and towns, including the capital city of Mogadishu.
Harardhere is a town with a tumultuous past. Once a major base for pirates hijacking merchant ships, the town fell into the hands of al-Shabab after 2011. Fortunately, the Federal government recently recaptured the town in an impressive victory earlier this year that went down in history.