Yaqshid District, Mogadishu, Somalia –
Heavily-armed al-Shabaab fighters stormed a military police checkpoint in Yaqshid district in Mogadishu on Wednesday night. The attackers killed several officers and reportedly kidnapped one.
The Somali Digest interviewed residents who confirmed the attack occurred. They stated that al-Shabaab killed at least two officers. The militant group issued a statement about the attack, claiming to have overrun the checkpoint and killed six officers. However, al-Shabaab is known for often exaggerating its battlefield claims.
The group also informed about the kidnapping of one of the officers. The victim has been identified as Ahmed Abdi Ali. In an interview with an al-Shabaab-affiliated radio station, he confessed to being captured while fighting for the Somali government.
The Military Police was established when Hassan Sheikh Mohamud was elected the Somali President on 15 May 2022. The force’s primary goal was to strengthen the security of the capital.
Troubled Yaqshid district
Al-Shabaab has frequently targeted Mogadishu’s Yaqshid district, including the military police forces stationed in it. On 2 July, an IED allegedly planted by al-Shabaab claimed the lives of four military police officers and injured several others.
“I was taking my children to Darul Salaam Gardens when, approximately halfway along the industrial road to Darul Salaam, we suddenly heard a loud explosion followed by gunfire. I witnessed the injured soldiers being rushed to the hospital in a bajaj [a local name for a three-wheeled motor vehicle, also known as a tuk-tuk],” one of the eyewitnesses described to the Somali Digest.
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. It continues to carry out attacks, ambushes, and assassinations against both security forces and civilians, including within the capital city.