SomaliaAt least 19 civilians were killed in the Al-Shabaab Islamist attack
At least eight vehicles were intercepted and burned by al-Shabaab militants in Somalia between Friday and Saturday. The passengers were killed.
At least 19 civilians were killed in an attack by radical al-Shabaab Islamists on a road in central Somalia between Friday and Saturday, clan leaders and local officials said Saturday. According to these sources, at least eight vehicles – passenger minibuses and trucks – traveling on the road between the towns of Beledwein and Makassas were intercepted at the level of the village of Afar-Irdut, tied together, and then burned, killing their passengers. .
“Last night (…) innocent civilians who were traveling were massacred by terrorists. We don’t have the exact number of casualties, but 19 bodies were collected. The attackers abducted many more people whose fate is unknown,” Beledweyne’s head Abdullahi Hared told AFP.
“Innocent civilians were killed”
The attack comes two weeks later Spectacular attack Led by al-Qaeda-affiliated Shebaab, A Capital Hotel At least 21 people died and 117 were injured in Mogadishu. According to the governor of Hayran region, where the attack took place, al-Shabaab stopped two vehicles coming from Beledwein and other vehicles going there.
“They massacred innocent civilians by intercepting vehicles (…) Bodies are still being taken, including women and children. They may be more than twenty,” Ali Zeide told reporters.
“After hanging the vehicles (..) they set them on fire. This is the worst attack ever in our area. They are innocent civilians who have not done anything to deserve this,” said Mohammad Abdirahman, another local clan leader.
Insurgency since 2007
Al-Shabaab said in a statement that it had targeted fighters from a local sub-clan who had recently helped fight government forces. They claim to have “killed 20 militants and their equipment carriers” and destroyed “eight of their vehicles”.
In late August, security forces and local militias retook several villages in the region from Shebab. Shebab has been waging an insurgency against the central government since 2007 with the support of the international community. They were driven out of the country’s major cities, including Mogadishu, in 2011, but remain entrenched in large rural areas and pose a major threat to authorities.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, elected in mid-May, pledged a “total war” to oust Shebab on August 23, days after a bloody attack against the Hyatt Hotel in Mogadishu.
“Avid gamer. Social media geek. Proud troublemaker. Thinker. Travel fan. Problem solver.”