Somali government troops recapture strategic town from al-Shabaab militants
MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somali national army [SNA] took over the town of Ba’adweyn in Mudug, central Somalia, senior military officials said, hours after deadly clashes with Al-Shabaab militants, which had driven them from the strategic center.
Al-Shabaab captured the city a few weeks ago after a fierce shootout with government troops, who were forced to immediately abandon it for their own safety. They collected taxes from residents in addition to plans to set up a parallel administration.
State media footage shows soldiers from the 21st Division hoisting the Somali flag at their former base. The city of Galmudug state has changed hands in recent weeks, and Al-Shabaab has been keen to stick around in its attempt to overthrow the fragile UN-backed Somali administration.
According to state media, the national army managed to destroy four bases that had been established by militants in the city, in addition to removing several improvised explosive devices. [IEDs] which had been implanted by terrorists.
“The Somali National Army and the Darwish regional forces of Galmudug are carrying out offensive operations to flush out terrorists in the southern Mudug region,” state media reported. “The troops destroyed four Shabab bases, foiled a suicide bombing and removed the IEDs.
Early Friday, a car bomb exploded near a military base near the Al-Shabab-held town of Ba’adweyne in Mudug, central Somalia. outskirts of town.
Security officials confirmed that the explosion was foiled after government forces shot the driver. No casualties were reported to SNA, but the militants reportedly suffered immense losses in the foiled attack. It was after the attack that the military managed to retake the city.
Al-Shabaab, affiliated with Al-Qaeda, however, claimed to have launched a car bomb on Friday against a military base housing forces of the Somali army and regional troops from Galmudug near Ba’adweyne, adding that it had succeeded in killing four soldiers in addition to destroying an SNA vehicle. .
In recent weeks, the town of Ba’adweyn has been the epicenter of clashes between government troops and Al-Shabaab militants. The military stepped up its operations against Al-Shabaab in Middle Shabelle and parts of Lower Shabelle and Jubba ahead of AMISOM’s exit later this year.