The Al-Qaeda Islamist militants in Somalia continue to demonstrate their ability to launch deadly attacks despite Federal Government forces weak offensive.
This week so far, Al-Shabaab militant group has claimed close to 20 attacks with casualties from various regions of Somalia.
Claimed Attacks on SNA Military Bases
Al-Shabaab on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 raided a SNA El Salini military base in Merka, Lower Shabelle region of Somalia killing 20 SNA soldiers according to a military source.
An Al-Shabaab suicide bomber driving an explosive-laden vehicle, detonated the VBIED inside the base before heavily armed militants storming in while firing indiscriminately.
In the armed assault that took 40 minutes, 20 soldiers were killed as the militant completely ran over the military base. Somalia government confirmed that Al-Shabaab briefly captured El-Salini military base, southwest of Mogadishu, killed 12 soldiers (initial report), took weapons and ammunition including anti-aircraft guns.
Al-Shabaab's military operation spokesman, Abdiasis Abu Musab, through group's pro-media channels claimed responsibility of the attacks. He claimed that his fighter had killed 41 soldiers besides taking took two pickups with anti-aircraft guns hooked on. He added that they destroyed four other military vehicles.
This is not the first time Al-Shabaab has attacked El Salini Forward Operating Base near Merka town. On Sunday 22nd September 2019 at around 5:30 am, local time, Al-Shabaab militants using Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) attacked the same SNA Forward Operating Base (FOB) in El Salini village of Lower Shabelle killing 23 government soldiers. One government soldier was captured alive as prisoner of war (POW) as the terrorists reportedly looted ammunition belonging the SNA.
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Al-Shabaab on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 at around 5.00 am local time, also attacked SNA military base in Qoryoley town, Lower Shabelle region of Somalia.
The militants also destroyed part of the bridge on the entrance to Qoryoley, where the Somali military base is located using a vehicle loaded with explosives. The heavily armed militants entered Qoryoley town and addressed a gathering before retreating.
Despite the risks of making statements and claims, such as enabling government of Somalia and allies to locate terror group leaders, Al-Shabaab through its pro-websites and media channels continues to communicate regularly with videos and audio messages which are posted on different channels and disseminated on the internet to spread its perceived successes in given theater of operations, further their goals besides boosting morale of their foot soldiers and attracting potential recruits.