AU mission intensities Somali operations after army base attack

The African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) said it has enhanced security operations in the restive Somali capital and its environs to flush out al-Shabab militants as the holy month of Ramadan ends later this week.

The AU mission said Monday the security operations are being carried out in places including Hawahabid, Lafoole, Afgoye, Albao and Lantabur in south of Mogadishu to degrade the militants who have engaged the Somali and allied forces in nearly daily attacks.

The operations came after the extremist group launched an ambush at a military base under the Somalia National Army (SNA) in Siinka Dheer in the outskirts of Mogadishu on Sunday night.

The police did not confirm the number of casualties on both sides but independent sources said at least two soldiers were killed and some injured in the fighting.

“There was heavy gunfight between al-Shabab and SNA soldiers on Sunday night but the soldiers overpowered them,” said a local security officer who sought anonymity.

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Both the Somali Army and al-Shabab have did not comment on the latest assault that targeted the SNA military base.

The latest attack came after one U.S. special forces soldier was killed in an al-Shabab attack in southwest Somalia on Friday.

African Union Mission was deployed to Mogadishu, Somalia in March 2007, the AMISOM became the longest running, largest, most costly, and most deadly operation. Yet, of the 54 AU members, only 6 contributed troops to AMISOM: Uganda (2007), Burundi (2007), Djibouti (2011), Kenya (2012), Sierra Leone (2013) and Ethiopia (2014).

Specifically, a combination of institutional, political, and economic factors was generally more important in understanding why these six states became AMISOM TCCs. Joining AMISOM did help alleviate some regional security concerns but the decision also brought tangible benefits at home to both the TCC governments and their militaries.

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