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Iran Press TV

New al-Shabab attack kills five in central Somalia

Iran Press TV

Thu Mar 12, 2015 1:47PM

At least five people have been killed after al-Shabab terrorists carried out an offensive on a high-security zone in the central Somali town of Baidoa, security sources say.

Somali security officials said on Thursday that the al-Qaeda-linked militants attacked a highly guarded area in Baidoa, which hosts the United Nations office, a regional government headquarters and an airport.

The assailants opened fire at Ethiopian troops at the gate of the security zone, but they managed to repel the attack, which claimed the life of an Ethiopian soldier.

According to reports, three of the al-Shabab terrorists blew themselves, while a fourth was gunned down by security forces. One of the attackers was also injured in the shootout.

"They are Shebab disguised in Somali military uniforms. That's how they managed to enter," said Mohamed Dahir, a Somali police official.

The security officials added that the abortive raid targeted the office of Sharif Hassan Sheikh Adan, the president of Somalia's newly created South West State and an ally of the government in Mogadishu.

This is while the terrorist group rejected the reports that the attack turned out to be a fiasco.

The offensive, which aimed to "disrupt a security meeting" between the local officials and Ethiopian forces, was carried out with success, the terrorist group said in a statement.

The Ethiopian soldiers, deployed to the region as part of the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) to help the violence-wracked country in the fight against al-Shabab, liberated Baidoa in 2012. Until then, the city had been ruled by al-Qaeda-linked terrorists for over three years.

Baidoa is located 220 kilometers northwest of the capital city of Mogadishu, and is the capital of South West State.

Al-Shabab justifies its attacks on Somali officials and legislators by arguing that the government allowed the deployment of foreign troops in the country.

Somalia has been the scene of deadly clashes between government forces and al-Shabab since 2006.

The militants have been pushed out of Mogadishu and other major cities by government forces and the African Union Mission in Somalia, which is largely made up of troops from Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Sierra Leone, and Kenya.

FNR/MKA/SS



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