Islamic terrorist group, Al-Shabab, claimed responsibility for a car explosion outside a US military base in Belidogle, Somalia. A security official with the Lower Shabelle regional government, Yusuf Abdourahman, disclosed that he saw a vehicle explode at the entrance to the military airstrip.
Abdourahman said there was rapid gunfire following the car explosion, indicating that militant extremists launched a fiery attack at the facility. Al-Shabab in a subsequent online post claimed responsibility for attack, adding they engaged American troops on the ground.
Although the extremist group is known for exaggerating its activities, not all their claims can be verified independently. The US military’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) in Belidogle did not comment on the incident. Meanwhile, a second attack was reported on European Union troops in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. It remains unclear if there were casualties.
US and Somali troops in Belidogle airstrip frequently launches drone attacks which destroy Al-Shabab targets. AFRICOM said US drones struck at Al-Shabab militants who attacked Somali forces who were patroling the Lower Juba region.
Earlier in January, Al-Shabab militants attacked a shopping and hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya, killing over 20 people, one of them an American. The terrorist group has been growing in influence eastern Africa for decades, while the Boko Haram insurgents have been terrorizing northern Nigeria, Chad, Niger, and parts of Cameroon for many years.