Witness claims Somali army and al-Shabaab clash results in minimum of 17 fatalities
A resident of Masagawa has informed Reuters of a chaotic attack by fighters from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab group on a military base located on the outskirts of the town in central Somalia that has resulted in a staggering 17 fatalities.
The fierce attack that took place on Friday in Masagawa, situated about 300 kilometers north of the country’s capital, Mogadishu, has left the entire area in a state of perplexity, as casualties continue to pour in.
The resident further reported, “I have seen 17 dead people including the attackers and the attacked. The fighting has moved into the forest. The town is calm now and under government control.” Captain Abdullahi Mohamed has confirmed the attack and stated that 12 al-Shabab fighters have died, but the exact number of troops killed remains a mystery.
“Fierce fighting went on for hours on the edge of the town. So far, I know we lost soldiers but I have no exact figure. We repulsed al-Shabab and now we are pursuing them in the forest.” The Somalia National Army, in its tweet, has mentioned that the town itself has been saved from the attack, and al-Shabab fighters have been killed, but the figure remains undisclosed.
The incident has taken place right after al-Shabab attacked a base in Bulamarer, located 130 kilometers southwest of the capital, resulting in a considerable number of losses. Al-Shabab has been vigorously trying to overthrow the central government and establish strict Islamic law since 2006.
Although the government pushed back the group last year, it still engages in severe attacks on hotels, government establishments, and military bases. In a statement, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack and stated that it had killed 73 soldiers, targeting those who had returned from training in Eritrea, which contrasts with the figures released by authorities. The entire region is now left in perplexity and burstiness, with residents fearing for their safety.