Airstrike Targeting Somalia's Shebab Kills Several

Al-Akhbar is currently going through a transitional phase whereby the English website is available for Archival purposes only. All new content will be published in Arabic on the main website (www.al-akhbar.com).

Al-Akhbar Management

Published Sunday, February 1, 2015

Several people are believed to have been killed in an airstrike in southern Somalia apparently targeting a house used by members of the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Shebab militia, officials and witnesses said Sunday.

A Shebab source confirmed a missile hit the Islamist-held stronghold of Dinsoor, 270 kilometers (170 miles) west of the capital Mogadishu, late Saturday, but declined to give details on who was targeted and how many casualties there were from the attack.

Abdukadir Mohamed Nour, a Somali government official in the lower Shabele region, said several Shebab militants died.

"Many Al-Shebab militants were killed in the airstrike," he said, without giving details on who was targeted and which country carried out the attack.

Shebab is fighting to overthrow Somalia's internationally-backed government, but it has also carried out a string of attacks in neighboring nations.

The United States has not permanently deployed ground force in Somalia but supports the government and sometimes deploys air power or special forces against targets allegedly linked to al-Qaeda.

A resident in Dinsoor, Ali Yare, told AFP by telephone that four civilians may have been wounded or killed in the attack.

"We heard a very loud explosion and a few minutes later I saw cars rushing to the scene, some of them returned with casualties. Four civilians were among the casualties," he said. "We don't know who was the target because the area was sealed off."

In September last year the Shebab's leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed in a US airstrike, and Washington carried out another strike in December, killing who Somali officials said was a top Shebab intelligence official.

Meanwhile, on Tuesday a former top commander from Shebab called on his former comrades to follow his lead and surrender to the country's internationally-backed government.

"I call on and encourage all my friends to seek out a peaceful way of resolving all conflicts and towards reconciliation," Zakariya Ismail Ahmed Hersi said in his first public appearance since his surrender in December.

Hersi, who was the subject of a $3 million bounty under the US State Department's "Rewards for Justice" program, spoke to reporters from the information ministry in Mogadishu, where he appeared without guards.

It is not clear if Hersi — described as a former Shebab intelligence chief — will face trial, but Somalia's government said in a statement that it had offered surrendering militants the "opportunity to reintegrate with Somali society, and guarantees their safety."

It added that it hoped Hersi's surrender would "inspire others to follow his example and join the peace process."

(AFP, Al-Akhbar)

Comments

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd><img><h1><h2><h3><h4><h5><h6><blockquote><span><aside>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options

^ Back to Top