Somalia on Saturday said its army had “foiled” an attack by the Al Shabaab terrorist group in the central state of Galmudug.
The attack by the Al Qaeda-affiliated group began with a suicide bombing, followed by heavy fighting as the insurgents sought to recapture Osweine, a village in the Galgadud region that Somali authorities had recently liberated from the terror group, the Defense Ministry said in a brief statement.
It said troops faced off against the attackers, neutralizing a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED).
Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and confirmed that it had launched a suicide bombing, followed by an assault on three different army bases in nearby villages.
The attack comes as Somali leaders gathered in the central town of Dhusamareb to discuss the Horn of Africa country’s fight against Al Shabaab.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud presided over the meeting.
He has been visiting Galmudug, the epicenter of fighting against Al Shabaab to boast the moral.
The National Consultative Council meeting came “at a critical juncture in the fight against the terrorists,” Mohamud’s office said in a statement, adding that its agenda included discussions on how to consolidate “recent gains in the ongoing offensive & stabilization efforts in the newly liberated areas.”
Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with the main threats emanating from Al Shabaab and the Daesh/ISIS terror groups.
Since 2007, Al Shabaab has been fighting the Somali government and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), a multidimensional mission authorized by the pan-African bloc and mandated by the UN Security Council.
The terror group has stepped up attacks since President Mohamud, who was elected for a second term last year, declared an “all-out war” against it.