Somalia: Police and militants clash near Mogadishu

MOGADISHU, Somalia (Caasimada Online) – A fierce battle erupted between the Somali police unit Haramcad and Al-Shabab militants on the outskirts of Mogadishu on Thursday night, causing an unknown number of casualties on both sides. 

The fighting began when Somali police launched a multi-directional ambush attack on Al-Shabab’s positions at Ali Mahdi field, near Mogadishu’s Dayniile district.  

A statement from the Haramad Police Command reported, “Following the Isha prayer, Mujahideen police forces launched an assault on enemy positions in the Ali Mahdi field from multiple directions. After an intense confrontation, the police forces successfully overpowered the Al-Shabab militias.”

While the police claimed victory over the Al-Shabab militants in the area, they did not announce any official casualties.  

This is not the first time the Haramad Police forces have attacked Al-Shabab facilities in the Ali Mahdi field in the Deynile district. 

In collaboration with the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA), the police have launched several attacks in recent months. However, they have been unable to liberate the area entirely. 

Increased vigilance during Ramadan

At the weekly Council of Ministers meeting on Thursday, chaired by Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, there was a call for increased vigilance against problems planned by Al-Shabab during the holy month of Ramadan.

In related news, Jubaland’s President Ahmed Madobe chaired a regional cabinet meeting on Friday, discussing security and road management in the Jubaland region, located in southern Somalia near the border with Kenya. 

The council of ministers addressed the ongoing military offensive by Somali and Jubaland forces against Al-Shabab fighters. 

Additionally, the cabinet approved the initial reading of legislation aimed at creating the Jubaland Road Authority, an entity tasked with constructing, maintaining, and managing roads and bridges within the region.

This law will soon be presented to the Jubaland Parliament for approval.

Support for armed forces against Al-Shabab 

Considering the precarious security conditions in the Lower Jubba region, the cabinet called on Jubaland residents to back the armed forces in their battle against Al-Shabab.

In early March, Al-Shabab militants seized a military base in Janay Abdale, 60 km west of the port city of Kismayu, a location they had previously lost to the army in January.  

As part of the continuing offensive that initially started in central Somalia and shifted south, Jubaland forces recaptured Janay Abdale from Al-Shabab in January.

Authorities have revealed that in the last two days, Somali and Jubaland government forces carried out coordinated operations across different parts of the Lower Jubba region, leading to the deaths of 28 Al-Shabab combatants. 

Even with heightened pressure from the military and allied clan-based militias, which initiated a significant offensive last year, Al-Shabab has consistently shown its capacity to strike back with major assaults, presenting a persistent challenge to the region’s stability.