The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) contingent under African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) has killed atleast 189 Al Shabaab fighters in a raid that could be the biggest ever since UPDF deployed in Somalia.
According to a statement issued by the UPDF Deputy Spokesperson Lt Col Deo Akiiki on Friday, Ugandan troops raided Al Shabaab hideouts in the thickets of Sigaale village approximately 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,” the statement reads in part.
The targeted raids, according to the UPDF, also destroyed two mounted weapons called “technical” and motorbikes in separate fire strikes.
“In Doncadaafeedow hideout 7KM West of Janaale, the UPDF ground-aerial targets successfully disrupted an Al Shabaab scheduled meetings and injured several,” the statement further reads.
Unlike in the past, UPDF now has attack helicopters that have augmented the UPDF firepower against Al Shabaab.
According to the Commander of the Ugandan troops in Somalia, Brig Gen Don William Nabasa, they didn’t suffer any losses or injuries.
“We are committed to ensuring and maintaining security and relative peace,” said Gen Nabasa during his operational assessment of frontline troops at forwarding base in Janaale adding: “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.”
In 2015, the Al Shabaab attacked the UPDF base in Janaale in what was one of the deadly attacks that left 19 Ugandans dead.
“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 statement reads.