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A local militia commander told AFP Tuesday that 11 soldiers were killed in an attack on a military camp claimed by radical Islamist Shebab.

This comes a day after the government announced the recapture of a strategic town.

“The jihadists first blew up a vehicle loaded with explosives and then attacked a military camp in Hawadley,” said Mohamed Osman, commander of a local militia allied with the government.

Eleven members of the army, including a commander, were killed and “dozens of terrorists were killed,” he added.

The attack was claimed by the Shebab, an al-Qaeda-affiliated group.

The Shebab have been fighting the internationally-backed federal government since 2007. Driven out of the country’s main cities in 2011-2012, they remain firmly entrenched in large rural areas.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, who returned to power in May 2022, has promised an “all-out war” against the Islamist group, and recently described its members as “bedbugs. In September, he sent the army – including special forces – to support local militias, known as “macawisley”, who have rebelled against the shebab.

This offensive, supported by the African Union force in Somalia (Atmis) and U.S. airstrikes, has resulted in the recapture of large areas of two central states, Hirshabelle and Galmudug.

The Somali army recaptured on Monday Harardhere, a port city considered “strategic” by the authorities located about 500 km north of the capital, controlled since 2010 by the shebab.

Source: AFRICA NEWS

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