Yesterday, an improvised explosive device (IED) explosion injured seven Ma’awisley fighters on the outskirts of Mahaas. The roadside bomb also destroyed their military vehicle.
Mahaas, Hiran region, HirShabelle, SOMALIA.
The incident took place in a remote area close to Mahaas near the border of the Hiran and Galgaduud regions. The injured Ma’awisley fighters from the Murasade clan were deployed in the area to help liberate Wabho and El Buur. The forces have been in the location since withdrawing from Wabho in August.
The precise details of the incident, such as the IED type or the specific circumstances surrounding the attack, remain unknown. However, the militant group al-Shabaab is highly suspected of planting the device. As this incident showcases, the IEDs continue to pose a significant threat to the safety of the local and government forces fighting al-Shabaab in the region.
Ma’awisley clashed with the SNA
The incident occurred amid a recent clash between two allies – the Ma’awisley militia and the Somali National Army (SNA) troops. The fight erupted in Mahaas last Saturday. It pitted the SNA’s Khalid bin Walid Brigade against the local militia, raising concerns about the unity and effectiveness of anti-terrorism efforts in the region.
The dispute escalated when a soldier from the Khalid bin Walid Brigade shot dead a Ma’awisley fighter. The following violent skirmish resulted in casualties on both sides. However, the exact number remains unclear.
The situation is especially challenging for the SNA, which heavily relies on the support of Ma’awisley in the ongoing battle against al-Shabaab. Without a cohesive working relationship between these entities, the effectiveness of counter-terrorism operations in the region will suffer. The concerned areas include Wabho, El Buur, Masagaway, El Dheer, and others. The infighting can potentially disrupt all these operations.
Government officials, including the Mayor of Mahaas, Mumin Mohamed Halane, along with clan elders, swiftly intervened to quell the hostilities, underscoring the importance of maintaining a unified front in the fight against the militants.