The terrorist group Al Shabaab has claimed this Saturday the responsibility of a series of attacks against positions of the Somali Army in the province of Bajo Shabelle, located near the capital, Mogadishu, in the midst of a serious political crisis due to the end of the mandate of the President, Mohamed Abdulahi Mohamed, without any elections being held.

The first of the attacks was carried out against a military base in the town of Barite, after which another base in Audhile was attacked, as reported by the Somali news portal Garowe Online.

Subsequently, Al Shabaab has carried out a car bomb attack against government troops in Lafole, an incident in addition to an attack with mortar shells against Somali forces in the towns of Anole and Sabiid.

Sources cited by Garowe Online have highlighted that the head of the intelligence services, Odoua Yusuf Rage, was traveling in the target convoy of the car bomb attack, who was heading to Barire to try to coordinate the response to the attacks. At the moment there is no official confirmation.

Al Shabaab has assured that it has achieved “victory” in this offensive and has stressed that it has destroyed the two military bases targeted by the attacks and has indicated that it has killed about 50 soldiers in its offensive, as the portal has collected news agency Somali Guardian.

Al Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations, Abdiasis Abu Musab, stressed that the militiamen have also seized six vehicles, weapons and military equipment “in the framework of their offensive.

In response, Army Commander Abdulahi Rage has indicated in statements to the German news agency DPA that the clashes have resulted in the deaths of four soldiers and 19 attackers and added that the Army has launched an operation in the area.

For their part, military sources in Lower Shabelle have stressed that the clashes in Audhile have resulted in the deaths of at least 40 members of Al Shabaab, who would have taken control of Bardire, according to Garowe Online.

The attacks have been carried out at a time when Somali political leaders are meeting in Mogadishu to try to reach an agreement that will shelve the crisis and pave the way for the holding of elections.

The meeting, of which no details have been disclosed, is the first in which the presidents of the Puntland and Jubaland regions sit at the table in talks with the Somali president, popularly known as ‘Farmajo’, after months of tensions.

Somalia is facing an increase in the number of attacks by the Islamist militia Al Shabaab – linked to the terrorist organization Al Qaeda – both in the capital and in other areas of the south of the country, where it has a significant presence and controls numerous territories.

Categorized in: