Siinka Dheer, Lower Shabelle, Somalia –
Yesterday, an al-Shabaab improvised explosive device (IED) targeted a Somali National Army (SNA) vehicle on its way to Mogadishu. The incident occurred in Sinka Dheer, a village located on the outskirts of Mogadishu in the direction of Afgooye.
According to al-Shabaab, the attack resulted in the killing of five soldiers and injuring three others. The militant group claimed that the explosion targeted government forces, particularly a vehicle belonging to the “Duufaan” – a paramilitary force operating under the National Intelligence and Security Agency of Somalia (NISA).
The Somali Digest contacted individuals in the area, who confirmed the attack but contradicted al-Shabaab’s claims. They informed us that the targeted vehicle was not destroyed, and most of the casualties were actually civilians who were using the road.
“The attack did happen, and unfortunately, a mother and her son are among the deceased. There are more civilian casualties,” stated a woman interviewed by the Somali Digest.
Surge in IED attacks in the capital
Mogadishu, along with its surrounding areas, has experienced a surge in IED attacks in recent times. Although al-Shabaab has been driven out of major urban centres in Somalia, the group still wields influence and maintains control over vast rural areas. Consequently, it continues to carry out attacks against both security forces and civilian targets, including in the vicinity of Mogadishu.
Last week, a Somali Military Police vehicle was targeted in an attack claimed by al-Shabaab militants, who employed an IED on the road in Mogadishu’s Yaqshid District. Al-Shabaab’s media outlet claimed responsibility for the attack, stating that it was carried out by their “Explosives Brigade”. According to the group’s claims, four officers were killed, while three others sustained injuries. However, the Somali Digest could not independently verify these claims.