First Al-Shabaab attack on Barawe since militants withdrew
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Two Somali government bases and a hotel in Barawe came under heavy attack as Al-Shabaab militants attacked the town last night, marking the first time the group carried out an attack since withdrawing from the town last week.
According to residents the militants entered the town around midnight and began attacking Hotel Colombo, near the town’s entrance, where government officials and the town’s administration were staying. They further simultaneously attacked the police station and another position nearby, and engaged the Somali forces in an hour long gun battle. The casualties of attacks however can’t be verified.
The former Al-Shabaab stronghold was taken over last week, with the Islamists believed to have retreated to nearby areas to stage hit and run attacks. Last night’s attacks however were the first raids into the town carried out by the group, although the group had fired with anti-aircraft guns against the Somali president’s plane when he was visiting Barawe two days ago.
Meanwhile in Marka suspected Al-Shabaab members hurled hand grenades at a group of AMISOM soldiers patrolling the streets in the neighborhood of Ruzi this morning, resulting in casualties according to witnesses, with the attackers escaping. As a result the patrol began firing randomly, causing a store nearby to catch fire.
The Lower Shabelle province has recently been witnessing an offensive carried out by the AMISOM and Somali troops, to push Al-Shabaab from their strongholds. In the last week the militants withdrew from the coastal town of Barawe without resisting, however the group has promised to intensify its guerrilla attacks, by carrying out night raids and ambushes.