The UN top envoy in Somalia on Sunday condemned Saturday’s foiled attacks against the Somali National Army (SNA) bases in Barire and Awdhigle towns in the southern region in which the army killed more than 115 militants.
“We strongly condemn these attacks that targeted Somali forces. This is a vivid reminder of the sacrifices being made by Somali soldiers every day as they fight bravely to keep Somalia and its people safe,” James Swan, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia said in a statement issued in Mogadishu.
Swan said that such attacks were aimed at undermining efforts to rebuild Somalia, according to the Xinhua news agency.
“We extend our condolences for the loss of life, and wish a speedy recovery to the injured,” he added.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the simultaneous dawn attacks in which the group sustained heavy losses in the face of strong action by the SNA forces.
However, Hassan Haji, Minister of Defense said on Sunday that the SNA killed more than 115 militants and captured 15 others during the attack on Saturday.
Haji, who visited the hospital in Mogadishu where soldiers who were wounded in terrorist attacks on army bases in the Lower Shabelle region are being treated, lauded the SNA for their bravery and sacrifices, saying their quick response in repulsing the attack saved many lives.
The Saturday’s incident comes amid sustained operations by Somali army against al-Shabab extremists in the southern regions where the militants hold swathes of rural areas, conducting ambushes and planting landmines.