Al-Shabaab attacks SNA in central Somalia as leaders sign election deal
ADADO, Somalia – Somalia-based al-Shabaab militants kill senior commanders serving in the Somali National Army [SNA], in an attack that comes amid reports that militants have expanded their territory following a political stalemate in the country.
Somali politicians are fighting for election control and the team agreed on Sunday to hold parliamentary elections by February 25. Later, Senators and Deputies will elect the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia.
Al-Shabaab militants reportedly engaged in a fierce shootout with the Somali National Army on Sunday in Adakibir, about 60 kilometers east of Adado, in central Somalia. The fighting continued for hours with militants subduing government forces.
Officials said Major Ali Mohamed So’adde was among four soldiers killed in Al-Shabaab’s attack on the village of AdaKibir. He died on the battlefield while coordinating the troops during the attack.
Also on Sunday afternoon, Colonel Ali Agaweyne, the operational commander of Sector 21 succumbed to injuries sustained following a deadly clash between government forces and Al-Shabaab in the village of Adakibir.
He was fatally injured in action with the commander of the 13th Battalion, Major Ali M So’adde. The attack is the major combat loss for the dedicated officers of the Somali National Army this year, as the country focuses on electoral matters.
Al-Shabaab has stepped up the attacks with analysts claiming the current electoral conflict has allowed militants to organize for major assaults. Al-Shabaab militants control huge swathes of central and southern Somalia.
The African Union is currently in talks with the Somali government over the future of the AU peacekeeping troops who have been in the country for more than a decade. There are plans to merge troops with the United Nations to form a joint mission initially opposed by the FGS.
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