The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) troops serving under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have killed over 189 fighters and captured two commanders in a raid on Al Shabaab hideouts.
According to a statement by the UPDF deputy spokesperson, Lt Col Deo Akiiki, the Ugandan troops carried out raids in the thickets of Sigaale village which is 99.5 KM Southwest of Mogadishu City.
“The interdiction and on-spot ground target separate operations in Sigaale, Adimole, and Kayitoy villages, neighboring Janaale in Lower Shaballe region, saw the forces put out of action 189 Al-Qaeda linked fighters and destroyed a number of military hardware and items used by the terrorist,” Akiiki said.
“In Doncadaafeedow hideout 7KM West of Janaale, the UPDF ground-aerial targets successfully disrupted an Al Shabaab scheduled meetings and injured several.”
The deputy army spokesperson noted that during the attacks, the troops destroyed two mounted technical and motorbikes.
According to the new UPDF of the Ugandan troops in Somalia, Brig Don William Nabasa, there was no loss or injury incurred by his boys during the raids that targeted Al Shabaab fighters who were having meetings.
“We are committed to ensuring and maintaining security and relative peace.
Given the available capabilities and knowledge of terrain analysis, such as spot targeted operations will continue in efforts to degrade and defeat Al Shabaab insurgents, even in the wilderness,” Nabasa during his operational assessment of frontline troops at forwarding base in Janaale .
“Such intelligence-led operations have equally forced defections, where one Al Shabaab low-level commander Eden Osman reported with his sub-machine gun, five loaded magazines, and 63 rounds of ammunition to Somali National Police station in Qoroyole town, approximately 75 KM North West of Mogadishu city.”
The UPDF described the operations as being timely but also resulted into the arrest of Al Shabaab commanders Sayid Nuur and Mohad Jabane who were later handed over to the 83rd battalion of the Somali National Army for further management.
Since their expulsion from Mogadishu in 2011, Al Shabaab insurgents loom in other areas mostly in the Lower Shabelle region.
In 2015, Al Shabaab overran a UPDF base in Janaale when one of its fighters rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into the perimeter of the base, then a team of heavily armed fighters entered the breach and attacked the troops inside, killing several Ugandan soldiers.
The UPDF was in July last year able to deploy choppers in Somalia for the first time in eight years after the first attempt in 2012 ended disastrously when three out of four choppers crashed in Kenya on their way to Mogadishu.
The choppers have been a good force multiplier and were instrumental in the latest raids on Al Shabaab hideouts.
The Ugandan troops continue to be deployed in Sector One in Benadir,(has 16 districts) Banadir, and Lower Shabelle regions having pushed Al Shabaab militants for over 200km away from Mogadishu city.