Deadly Roadside Explosion Claims Eleven Government Soldiers in Southwestern Somalia
Southwestern Somalia was hit by a devastating roadside explosion on Monday, resulting in the death of eleven government soldiers and injuring three others. The incident occurred in the Gedo region, specifically between the towns of Luuq and Doolow, where a convoy of military vehicles became the target. The al-Shabab militant group, identified as a terrorist group by leading nations, claimed responsibility for the attack. While initial reports suggested only two casualties and two injuries, multiple sources have since confirmed the higher casualty numbers.
Among the injured is Commander Rashid Bohol of the 10th brigade of the 43rd Division of the Somali National Army, said to have sustained minor injuries. Meanwhile, Somali government officials and parliamentarians arrived in the town of Amaara in the central Galmudug state. This arrival followed the recent recapture of the town from al-Shabab by federal troops and local fighters, marking a significant step in their ongoing battle against the militant group.
African Union Begins Second Phase of Troop Withdrawal
As the aftermath of the explosion unfolds, the African Union (AU) peacekeeping force announced the commencement of its second phase of planned troop withdrawals. This week saw Burundian troops hand over their base in Biyo Adde to government forces. This marked the first of ten forward operating bases scheduled for transfer. By the end of September, the AU peacekeeping force will be reduced to 13,586 soldiers.
Brigadier General Abdirahman Mohamed Turyare, the former director of the Somali National Intelligence and Security Agency, proposed that military equipment and funds designated for AU troops be allocated to the Somali army. This move, he suggested, would bolster military operations against al-Shabab. Turyare underlined that the impact of the drawdown on Somalia’s security would hinge on the success of ongoing military operations.
Implications of the Troop Withdrawal
If the operations prove successful, the government could cope with the reduction of AU troops. However, failure could have serious implications. AU troops currently hold areas, provide support to local populations and Somali troops. The withdrawal could thus potentially destabilize these regions and significantly weaken the Somali army’s fight against al-Shabab.
As Somalia faces the dual challenge of confronting militant attacks and managing a significant troop withdrawal, the nation’s future security remains uncertain. The success of ongoing military operations and the management of the troop withdrawal will undoubtedly play a crucial role in determining the country’s stability and ability to combat terrorist threats.
Subscribe to BNN Breaking
Sign up for our daily newsletter covering global breaking news around the world.