Masaajid Ali Guduud, Middle Shabelle, Somalia –
Yesterday, a tragic friendly fire incident occurred between two groups of Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers. Both groups mistakenly identified each other as al-Shabaab. The firefight reportedly lasted for about an hour in Masaajid Ali Guduud, a strategic town in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region.
The battle has reportedly claimed the lives of more than ten soldiers and left many more injured. Among those killed was Captain Mohamed Ahmed Abshir, a senior military officer. Captain Abshir was the commander of the 2nd Division of the Khalid bin Walid Brigade of the SNA. His vehicle allegedly overturned during the clash.
According to available reports, one group of troops was on its way to the frontline, while the other was protecting a village on the road leading to the frontlines. The darkness played a role, confusing both groups, who then engaged in the fire.
The Captain had been praised for his role in the first phase of the al-Shabaab counter-offensive. His troops stationed in the Middle Shabelle have been preparing for the second phase, which is about to start soon.
The latest reports indicate that the situation is now calm. Government officials have visited the site of the fighting but refrained from providing further details about the incident.
Masaajid Ali Guduud was liberated from al-Shabaab last October, marking a significant milestone in the counter-al-Shabaab offensive. The group had controlled the area for a long time. The liberating operation reportedly resulted in the deaths of at least 100 al-Shabaab militants.