Shabaab stage attack as President visits Kismayo
Kismayo (Harar24) – Today was the first time in twenty years that a Somali president visited Kismayo. However as the President and his envoy were present at the airport, Al-Shabaab fighters were busy firing anti aircraft weapons at aerial vehicle carrying the president.
The attack occurred around midday local time, as the president arrived in Kismayo in order to hold talks with the interim president of the Jubbaland administration Ahmed Madobe. Along with the president came the minister of interior affairs, Abdikarim Guled and several Somali reporters. According to Somali reports the airport was cleared and checked yesterday by a joint force of Ugandan troops & the Somali Alpha force.
Despite the clearance and security checks, the Al-Shabaab movement somehow still managed to attack the plane with anti aircraft weapons during the landing of the president and his envoy. The spokesman for the president, Abdirahman Omar, denied that any attack occurred, however the local population and Al-Shabaab’s military spokesman beg to differ.
According to our correspondent local residents clearly heard the sounds of the anti aircraft weapons at the time the president was at the airport and that the sounds were coming from the airport, they further said the rate of fire was very rapid. Abu Mus’ab Abdulaziz, Al-Shabaab’s military spokesman confirmed that Al-Shabaab fighters did indeed carry out the attack and that their main aim was the president. He said: “After finding out of the coming of the president we prepared ourselves, took our positions and readied our weapons. We waited until they were in firing range. Unfortunately, they barely survived by hand span’s distance.”
Kismayo has been witnessing an upsurge in violence the past few days as both Al-Shabaab and their opponents have taken it as a battleground.