The extremist group al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for a massive suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) attack that targeted a military base in the vicinity of Elasha Biyaha (Ceelasha Biyaha) on the outskirts of Mogadishu.
Elasha Biyaha, Lower Shabelle region, South West State, SOMALIA.
Reports indicate that the attackers used a bullet-proof vehicle full of explosives to target a government military base. The SVBIED, driven by a suicide bomber, caused a massive explosion upon reaching its intended target, which included Military Police units.
Al-Shabaab stated that the attack resulted in many casualties, claiming to have killed 49 soldiers and injured many more. However, the group often exaggerates its battlefield claims. The blast also caused extensive damage to the targeted building, as numerous photos circulating on social media show.
The government media informed about the attack, saying the car bomb explosion killed six people and injured several others. “The suicide bomber driving the vehicle was shot by the soldiers who tried to prevent him from passing through. The police said the attacker was heading towards Mogadishu, where he planned to cause more damage,” said the Somali National News Agency (SONNA) on its X account.
Surge in al-Shabaab’s suicide bombings
The attack coincides with a recent surge in suicide bombings by al-Shabaab, specifically targeting military positions within the region. It is a grim reminder of the ongoing security challenges the Somali government faces in its efforts to combat the activities of al-Shabaab.
Despite the government’s counterterrorism measures, the extremist group continues to carry out deadly attacks, mainly through suicide bombings, inflicting heavy casualties and causing destruction.
July attack on a nearby base
In July, al-Shabaab attacked a nearby military base – Arba’o (Arbaco). However, the Somali National Army (SNA) successfully repelled the attack. The Forward Operating Base (FOB) was one of the six military instalments that the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) handed over to SNA in June.
The Somali Digest interviewed a resident from the Elasha Biyaha village, who confirmed that the battle lasted for an hour. “We heard the intense sound of heavy weaponry,” stated the person we reached out to.