MOGADISHU (Caasimada Online) – The Somali National Army (SNA) announced a decisive victory on Friday, as they successfully repelled an attack on a military base in Galcad, a town in the central Somalia region.
According to a government statement, the SNA forces effectively neutralized a substantial number of al-Shabab militants, with an estimated 100 extremists being eliminated during the confrontation.
The SNA also suffered casualties, with seven soldiers losing their lives in the early morning attack. Among the dead was a senior US-trained Somali national army commando Hassan Ture.
Tuure was a key figure in the ongoing military offensives against the al-Shabab terror group in the central region. Eyewitnesses reported hearing heavy explosions and fierce gunfire between commandos and the terrorists.
Former Somali Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire described Tuurre as “brave” who devoted himself to protecting “the life, wealth, and honor of the nation.” He urged the Somali people to unite and fight against terrorists, stating, “I once again call the Somali people to unite to eradicate the Kharijite group.”
The Ministry of Information confirmed that the soldiers could also destroy five technical vehicles that the terrorists were utilizing.
Al-Shabab, fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government, claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that their fighters killed 159 government forces. However, it is not uncommon for the al-Qaida-affiliated group to inflate casualty figures during battles with government security forces.
The attack, which saw al-Shabab strike the entrance of the base with twin car bombs before storming the compound, highlights the ongoing threat that the group poses to Somalia’s military.
Despite a government offensive launched last year scoring significant success against the al Qaeda-allied militants, Friday’s attack underscores the formidable challenge.
The targeted base is run by Danab, a unit of U.S.-trained commandos who have played an active role in the offensive against the militants.
Drones were deployed to reinforce the military, carrying out bombings against the militants and chasing them out of the town.
Galcad, along with the port town of Harardhere in Somalia’s Galmudug region, was recently seized by government forces, marking a significant success for the ongoing government offensive.
Al-Shabab has been active since 2006, working towards toppling the country’s central government and implementing its own rule based on a strict interpretation of Islam.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared a “total war” on the terrorists, and since the announcement, the army has scored significant victories against the group.
This week, the army liberated the strategic seaside town of Haradhere, which had been under the terror group’s control for more than a decade.