Eleven soldiers including a senior Army commander are said to have been killed in an attack on the Army camp Hawadley, north of Mogadishu, in an attack claimed by the Al-Shabaab on Tuesday.
According to Mohamed Osman, a local clan militia commander, “Eleven members of the army, including a senior military officer, died in the attack, and dozens of the terrorists were killed”.
However, conflicting figures have been put up by different sources on the number of soldiers killed in the attack. Speaking on national radio, Army chief Odowaa Yusuf Rage said five soldiers including an officer died as martyrs in the attack. While a local clan militia commander reported 11 soldiers to have died in the attack.
The Army base is located about 60 km (35 miles) north of the capital, Mogadishu. The camp was seized from the Al-Shabaab’s control in October by government forces and allied clan militias.
According to Captain Aden Nur, a military officer in the nearby town, the assailants first blew up a vehicle loaded with explosives and then opened fire on the soldiers.
The Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and issued a statement, saying it had killed “many apostate soldiers and their commander”.
The attack comes a day after the Somali army recaptured Harardhere, a port considered “strategic” by the authorities located about 500 km from the capital, which has been controlled by the Shabab since 2010. The government said the recapture was a historic victory.
The operation was part of a border government offensive, which began in August and has made significant gains.
It should be remembered that in May 2022, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud declared an “all-out war” against the Al-Shabaab, referring to its members as “bedbugs”.