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Daesh executes 13 attacks in Somalia

May 9, 2018 at 5:03 pm

The Daesh group has executed some 13 attacks in Somalia so far this year, a number which is set to outpace their attacks in both 2016 and 2017, the Long War Journal said in a new report.

In addition to the confirmed Daesh attacks in the country, there were 32 assaults which the group claimed which could not be confirmed but it is “unclear” if they are legitimate, as “few are reported by local media or proven with visual evidence”.

“Of the total 45 claimed operations, 14 have occurred inside Mogadishu and a further three were reported within the city’s outskirts or suburbs. At least 12 were inside Afgooye. Other attacks were reported by the group in Bosaso, Baidoa, Bay, and Qandala. Operations also reportedly took place in lesser known towns, like Jarur in Puntland or Quf Jadud in western Somalia,” the report stated.

“It is unclear exactly how many claims made by the group are legitimate, as few are reported by local media or proven with visual evidence. Some assassination claims, however, are followed up with photo or video proof. That said, the statements still indicate the types of operations and claimed areas of operation of the organization inside Somalia.”

Al-Shabaab versus Daesh

Despite an uptick in attacks, Daesh has not had an easy ride in Somalia over competition faced by the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Shabaab. Al-Shabaab has ordered a special unit to hunt down and target any of its members that have defected to Daesh. Any form of pro-Daesh sentiments in Al-Shabaab territory leaves people liable for arrest or death.

Yet, Daesh have executed attacks well away from their stronghold in Puntland, showing that competition has not successfully stopped the group from operating near Al-Shabaab. Daesh has set up splinter cells in central and southern Somalia.

A small section of Al-Shabaab broke off and pledged allegiance to Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the leader of Daesh, in October 2015. The splinter group operates primarily in Puntland, in the north-east of the country. It is led by Sheikh Abdul Qadir Mumin who commands an estimated 300 foot soldiers. Most of Al-Shabaab’s members however remain linked to Al-Qaeda.

Read: Al-Shabaab kills 9 Kenya soldiers in Somalia