At least 13 Somali soldiers have been killed after members of the Takfiri al-Shabab terrorist group attacked army troops northwest of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, a military official says.
On Wednesday, Somali army troops attacked al-Shabab terrorists in a jungle and farms in the vicinity of Afgoye District, some 30 kilometers from the capital, killing at least four of them and chasing the others, said Major Mohamed Ali.
“Most of the military came back and we left two dozen soldiers there. Then, this evening, al-Shabab attacked our few soldiers and killed 13,” he added late Wednesday.
Since 2006, the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants have been waging a bloody militancy in Somalia in an attempt to undermine its central government, which is supported by the United Nations and African Union peacekeeping troops.
Despite being ousted from large parts of the south and central Somalia, al-Shabab continues deadly attacks on military and civilian targets, including at hotels, intersections, and checkpoints.
Al-Shabab militants have fought successive Somali governments as well as neighboring governments in Uganda and Kenya, the latter of which sent troops to Somalia in 2011 to fight the Takfiri group as part of the African Union forces.
Somalia, which has been ravaged by decades of war and poverty, has faced instability and violence since 1991, when its military government was overthrown.