In a recent incident in Lower Shabelle, Somalia, a critical security checkpoint fell victim to yet another attack by Al-Shabaab militants. This comes as Somalia gears up for its second and potentially final offensive against the militants in the southern regions, specifically targeting Jubaland and Southwest states.
Multiple casualties were reported among the militants, marking a significant victory in the ongoing efforts to eliminate the group responsible for causing havoc in Somalia over the past 16 years. Al-Shabaab is engaged in a continuous battle to overthrow the weak UN-supported federal government of Somalia.
According to reports, the attackers utilized a suicide vehicle before commencing indiscriminate gunfire, targeting civilians. Al-Shabaab militants often focus their attacks on security forces, high-ranking government officials, and innocent individuals.
Dahir Amin Jesow, a lawmaker who was present at the targeted checkpoint, confirmed that both government forces and local militias successfully neutralized several militants during the assault. The collaboration of local militias is crucial in the fight against Al-Shabaab within the central and southern regions of Somalia.
“We defended ourselves against the Khawarij assailants, and we inflicted significant damage. We have the bodies of the militants, which we will present to the media,” stated MP Jesoow.
According to the lawmaker, some Somali National Army officers sacrificed their lives while protecting civilians during the attack. The wounded individuals were subsequently transported to the Balligodle army base for advanced medical treatment, overseen by the US Africa Command and the special forces unit known as Danab.
The Somali National Army, in collaboration with the US Africa Command and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS], has been actively engaged in a joint mission to defeat Al-Shabaab. Despite ongoing efforts, the group continues to pose a threat to the stability of the country, necessitating the involvement of local militias on the frontlines.