Soldier kills UAE trainers in Somalia

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Mogadishu, Somalia – A dark cloud hangs over the Gordon military base in Mogadishu, Somalia, after a shocking attack on Saturday that claimed the lives of five individuals.

A newly trained Somali soldier, suspected of having ties to the militant group al-Shabab, opened fire during prayer, turning comrades and trainers into casualties.

The attack unfolded during a routine training exercise, shattering the fragile peace within the base.

According to Somali army officer Ahmed (identified only by his first name), the soldier opened fire on UAE trainers and Somali officials shortly after prayer began.

Four UAE soldiers and one Bahraini officer were killed, while four Somali soldiers sustained fatal injuries. Several others were injured and received medical attention at the Erdogan Hospital in Mogadishu.

UAE expressed outrage

The UAE, a key partner in training the Somali National Army (SNA), expressed outrage and vowed to work alongside the Somali government in investigating the incident.

“This was a cowardly act of terrorism,” declared the UAE Ministry of Defense in a statement. “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Somalia in bringing the perpetrators to justice and ensuring the safety of our personnel.”

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud offered his condolences to the families of the victims and condemned the attack in a statement released through state media.

He reiterated the government’s commitment to combating terrorism and vowed to strengthen security measures within the military.

Al-Shabab, a group notorious for its brutal tactics and insurgency against the Somali government, quickly claimed responsibility for the attack through its radio station, Radio al Andalus.

They inflated the death toll, claiming to have killed 17 soldiers, in a desperate attempt to sow fear and discord.

Questions linger as Investigations begin

The attack raises critical questions about security protocols within the SNA and the potential for infiltration by extremist groups.

Authorities are currently investigating the soldier’s background and motive, including potential links to al-Shabab and how he was able to access weapons within the secure base.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing challenges Somalia faces in its fight against terrorism.

The nation has endured decades of conflict and instability, and al-Shabab remains a potent threat. Despite significant progress in recent years, the group continues to carry out deadly attacks and maintain control over vast swathes of rural Somalia.

The international community has pledged its continued support to the Somali government and its security forces.

The European Union recently reaffirmed its commitment to provide €430 million in aid to Somalia, focusing on security, development, and humanitarian assistance.

The United States also maintains a significant military presence in the region, supporting Somali troops in counter-terrorism operations.

Somalia must address the root causes of extremism and insecurity to achieve lasting peace and stability. Strengthening security measures, improving intelligence gathering, and investing in economic development are crucial.

The international community must continue to stand with Somalia in its fight against terrorism and support its efforts to build a brighter future for its citizens.