Buloburde, Hiran, HirShabelle, Somalia –
In a tragic incident on Sunday, a landmine explosion claimed the lives of eight members of the same extended family, seven men and one woman, including children. Witnesses report seven victims died immediately at the scene, while another succumbed to injuries later.
The incident occurred in the village of Jicibow, approximately 25 kilometres north of Buloburde in the Hiran region. The extended family was allegedly on their way home in a tuk-tuk motorcycle from a day spent on a farm.
Local authorities have attributed the responsibility for this heinous act to the jihadist group al-Shabaab. The mayor of Buloburde stated on Monday that the roadside explosive was planted by al-Shabaab terrorists following their defeat in ongoing military operations. He further expressed his dismay, emphasizing that these terrorists show no regard for civilian lives.
The Somali Digest spoke with one of the nieces of a deceased individual, who revealed that her uncle and three of his children were among those killed in the IED attack. The deceased’s family members believe al-Shabaab targeted them due to their affiliation with the Hawadle community, which forms the predominant group within the local liberation forces, the so-called Ma’awisley militia.
Beera Yabal clashes
The initial clashes started last Friday when the Ma’awisley launched an assault on a location near Beera Yabal, where members of al-Shabaab had gathered. Beera Yabal is a village under the Buloburde district in the Hiran region.
Witnesses residing in the vicinity reported that the conflict was highly intense, lasting for several hours and involving the use of various weapons. The Ma’awisley fighters claim to have inflicted casualties on al-Shabaab, asserting that they killed or injured at least seven of their fighters.
The threat persists
The Sunday incident is a painful reminder of the persistent threat posed by extremist groups, particularly al-Shabaab, in the region. The loss of innocent lives highlights the urgent need for enhanced security measures and concerted efforts to combat terrorism, ensuring the safety and well-being of all communities affected by such atrocities.
These developments follow the successful liberation of the eastern part of Hiran from al-Shabaab several months ago. The extremist group appears to have begun to reemerge in the region, necessitating a proactive response from the local forces.
As the situation remains fluid, residents in the affected areas are advised to stay vigilant and allow the security forces to address the renewed threat. It is typical for the terrorists, when defeated in an armed confrontation, to take revenge on civilians.