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Published On: Sat, Apr 15th, 2017

Al-Shabab vows ‘doubled response’ to US move in Somalia

Araweelo News Network

A Somali soldier stands near the destroyed wall of a restaurant that was hit by a car bomb attack, in Mogadishu, Somalia Wednesday, April 5, 2017. The massive car bomb blast at a restaurant in Somalia’s capital killed a number of people Wednesday, police said, with others injured in the attack near the ministries of internal security and youth and sports. (AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh)

MOGADISHU, Somalia — The Somalia-based al-Shabab claims that its escalation of deadly attacks is in “doubled response” to President Donald Trump’s approval of expanded U.S. military efforts against it, an organization that monitors extremist groups says.

Al-Shabab’s statements come after Somalia’s new military chief survived a suicide car bomb attack Sunday following his swearing-in with a mandate to launch a new offensive against the Islamic extremists. Thirteen people were killed. A day later, a suicide bombing at a military academy in the capital, Mogadishu, killed at least five soldiers.

Al-Shabab’s Shahada News Agency posted the group’s statement on social media Monday, the SITE Intelligence Group said.

The attacks also are in response to President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s declaration last week of the new offensive against the extremists, al-Shabab said. The Somali-American president has declared the long-chaotic country a war zone.

Mohamed’s election in February and Trump’s taking power in January have brought the new military efforts against al-Shabab, which was chased out of Mogadishu several years ago by national and African Union multinational forces but still controls some rural areas. It continues to carry out deadly attacks in the capital, targeting hotels, military facilities and the presidential palace.

With Trump’s approval, the U.S. military now can pursue more aggressive airstrikes against al-Shabab, and parts of southern Somalia will be considered areas of active hostilities. U.S. special operations forces can move closer to the fight while increasing assistance to Somali forces.

Al-Shabab has denounced Somalia’s new leader as an “apostate” and vowed to further destabilize the country. Al-Shabab was kicked out of Mogadishu under Mohamed’s brief term as prime minister in 2010-2011.

Mohamed has vowed to make security a priority in Somalia, where the fragile central government is trying to extend its control beyond selected areas including the capital.

Source: http://www.militarytimes.com/

About the Author

- #Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a freelance and investigative journalist, writer and human rights activist with more than 20 years of experience. He writes about a range of topics related to social issues such as human rights, politics and security. Other topics in which Mr. Arraale is interested include democracy and good governance. Mr. Arraale has written extensively on regional and international events, and has worked with Somaliland newspapers and Human rights organizations. In 2008, he established #Araweelo #News #website# Network, which he currently manages. For further information, please contact: Info@araweelonews.com or jaamac132@gmail.com Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 whatsapp.com/ + 252 63 442 5380 /https://twitter.com/Araweelonews/https://www.facebook.com/Araweelonews/

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