Somalia based Al Shabaab insurgents have suffered a bloody nose after the UPDF repulsed their attack at Barawe airport in the Lower Shabelle region of the country.
“The UPDF in Barawe has this morning foiled an attempted Al Shabab attack on its position. The forces in ambush successfully blew two enemy vehicles loaded with dangerous explosives,” UPDF spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire said.
“ No soldier was injured in the fight and high alert is being maintained.”
The army spokesperson said that the enemy had used trucks loaded with Improvised Explosive Devices but the found the Ugandan army on alert, putting them out of action.
“All Alshabaab elements in the trucks died,” he said.
The Al Shabaab insurgents who were flushed out of the capital Mogadishu now operate in the Lower Shebelle region by carrying out surprise attacks.
In 2015, Al Shabaab militants stormed a UPDF AMISOM base in Jannale when one of its fighters rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into the perimeter of the base.
Consequently, a team of heavily armed fighters entered the breach and attacked Ugandan troops inside as the base was overrun by the militants in an attack that saw over 10 Ugandan soldiers killed.
It is the same tactic as the one used today and in 2015 that the insurgents tried to attack two AMISOM forward operating bases in Quoryole, Bulomareer, Golweyn and Mashallay in the Lower Shabelle region as they thought the troops were in Easter mood.
On the fateful day between 9 and 10am, the group struck when they were least expected and tried to forcefully enter four different bases using Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) before launching mortar attacks on the bases but were repulsed by both the AMISOM UPDF and Somali forces.
The AMISOM troops led by the UPDF last month in a joint military offensive with Somali National Army, SNA liberated the bridge town of Jannale, which was a stronghold of Al-Shabaab, in Somalia.
The UPDF was the first army to deploy in Somalia under the AMISOM in 2007 and by then, the Ugandan army was controlling less than 10% of the battered capital Mogadishu, the biggest part being in the hands of the Al Shabaab insurgents.
In some of the fiercest battles, in 2011, the Al Shabaab militants were expelled from Bakara market, which was one of the insurgents’ strongholds in Mogadishu and since then, the jihadists have never returned to Mogadishu.
UPDF’s deployment demystified the saying that AMISOM was a “dead on arrival” mission before opening the way for other countries to send armies in Somalia.
Since their expulsion from Mogadishu, Al Shabaab insurgents loom in other areas mostly in the Lower Shabelle region but have continued to lose more group to AMISOM troops.
The Ugandan troops are 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.