Somalia’s army rejects attack on the military base, killing 12 extremists in Al-Shabaab

BAIDOA, Somalia – A Somali army abolished an Al-Shabaab attack on Deynunay’s military base, confirmed a top commander, in the latest battle against the militants, who have significantly lost their grip on their traditional strongholds.

For a few hours on Wednesday morning, militants seized the military base in the village of Deynunay, about 20 kilometers from Baidoa, the interim administrative capital of the southwestern state, officials say.

Troops from the SNA engaged the militants in a fierce gun battle before retreating, witnesses say, with Al-Shabaab taking lectures on villagers and seizing sophisticated weapons and ammunition from the base.

But in a swift counter-attack, the elite forces managed to rule over the militants in an intense gunfire, which lasted for several hours and left several militants dead.

General Mohamed Sheikh Abdullahi, commander of the 60th SNA Division, confirmed the attack at the Bay Area army base and allowed over 12 militants to die during the meeting.

“Al-Shabaab was crushed by elite troops from the Somali National Army [SNA] and pushed back under the counter. The base is now under our full control and the situation has returned to normal, “Abdullahi added.

The village has come under Al-Shabaab attack on several occasions in the past, but they have often lost to mad SNA troops, officials say. The attack left five soldiers dead and several injured, witnesses say.

Abdullahi said: “We had engaged them in a revenge attack and managed to drive them away. They have been hit by several injured and by counting we have found 12 bodies scattered along with the village.”

The militants have often targeted military outposts in Somalia in their cowardly attacks. Last month, they attacked El-Salini military base in Lower Shebelle and killed at least 20 SNA soldiers, police say.

But General Abdullahi believes the militants do not have the “ability to defeat SNA troops” in their cowardly attempts to overthrow the government and set up a parallel administration in Somalia.

More often than not, the Al-Shabaab militants usually withdraw from certain areas before capturing them, but on Wednesday they were overwhelmed by the strong SNA troops that managed to stamp authority, officials added.

Although there has been a concerted effort by Ethiopian national defense forces [ENDF], SNA troops and southwestern regional troops to defeat the militants in the region, Al-Shabaab has maintained a firm grip on the Bay and Bakool regions.

ENDF under AMISOM is responsible for most parts of the southwestern state. The AMISOM team is working closely with FGS ahead of the planned end of 2021 when their mandate will formally expire.

Al-Shabaab remained detained in rural areas in the central and southern Somalia regions, after losing its grip on the capital, Mogadishu in 2011, ended its chaotic administration which had nearly hugged the country.

Last week, they lost to SNA, AMISOM and the US military in the Janaale town of Lower Shebelle, ending their years of intimidation, autocracy, combined with the flow taxation aimed at civilians, officials said.

The United States has increased the airstrikes in central and southern Somalia and succeeded in eliminating key leaders. Bashir Qorgab, one of the operatives, was killed on February 22 in Saakow city in Central Juba, AFRICOM said.

SNA victory against the militants at Deynunay is also a manifestation that the troops are ready to take over security missions in Somalia, when peacekeeping troops leave next year.

To restore order and livelihood, SNA troops have remained in liberated cities to establish reliable administrations to provide the service to Somali people, who have been without a functional government since 1991 after the expansion of Siad Barre.




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