National
Warplanes strike Somali Islamist stronghold
Publish Date: May 18, 2014
Warplanes strike Somali Islamist stronghold
An army helicopter of the French army transporting marine commandos attached to the European Union naval Force (EUNAVFOR-Somalia) touches down during an operation at Bossaso, on the coast of Somalias nothern semi-autonomous region of Puntland. AFP PHOTO
  • mail
  • img
newvision

MOGADISHU - Fighter jets pounded a key base of Somalia's Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab Sunday, in the latest push by African Union troops against the insurgents, the Islamists and witnesses said Sunday.

The air strikes on the town of Jilib are understood to be part of the offensive by the 22,000-strong UN-backed AU force, who launched in March a fresh bid to wrest remaining towns from the Islamists.

"I heard two heavy explosions, military jets were flying over the city," said Osman Mohamed, a resident of Jilib.

The impoverished town is a key Al-Shabaab hub in southern Somalia's Middle Juba region, some 320 kilometres (200 miles) southwest of Mogadishu.

Senior Al-Shabaab commander Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Hamze said war planes had struck the town, but denied any casualties.

"The enemy tried to terrorise the children and women by dropping bombs in the suburbs of the city, but thanks to God, there were no casualties at all," Abu Hamze told AFP by telephone.

"The mujahedeen fighters have managed to repel the enemy with anti-aircraft weaponry, they have fled."

It was not immediately clear where the jets were from, but Kenya is part of the AU force and has used its air planes to strike Al-Shabaab bases before.

Witnesses said bombs had landed on the main route out of the town.

"Two of the bombs struck the main road thatgoes south to Kismayo," resident Mohamed Hashi said.

Hardline Al-Shabaab insurgents once controlled most of southern and central Somalia.

After withdrawing from fixed positions in the capital Mogadishu nearly three years ago, they have lost most large towns to the AU and government soldiers. However, they still regularly launch guerrilla raids.

AFP

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
UPDF hails Congo for fighting ADF rebels
The UPDF has hailed the Congolese army for intensifying operations against the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels....
Ugandans lose billions in bribes – study
The average value of a bribe paid by Ugandans in rural and urban areas is sh127, 000, according to findings of the 2013 national governance baseline survey....
Muhakanizi apologizes over corruption
THE secretary to the treasury, Keith Muhakanizi, has apologized to Ugandan tax payers for the billions of money lost through corruption in government...
Museveni passes out 525 NRM cadres
President Yoweri Museveni passed out the team during a colourful occasion. Not even the heavy down pour could dampen the spirits of the enthusiastic youth...
Homeless people to be counted - UBOS
According to the UBOS executive director, Dr. Ben Mungyereza, there are special teams that have been constituted to count 'homeless' individuals...
Census exercise registers early success in Mukono
SEVERAL residents however expressed mixed opinions on the exercise with some wondering whether it will bring an end to the perennial drug shortage in health units...
Do you think the National Census positively contributes to improved Livelihood in Uganda?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter