Faced with a persistent jihadist threat, the leaders of the G5 Sahel countries and France announced the establishment of a new operational framework with redefined priorities and concentrated action on the so-called “three borders” area between Mali , Niger and Burkina Faso.
The military coalition will have a “joint command” between the Barkhane force and the joint force of the G5 Sahel, “by integrating our intelligence forces, our military forces” in the area of the three borders, “with a much stronger latitude of engagement. ”, said Emmanuel Macron.
“Beyond that, I decided to engage additional combat capabilities – 220 soldiers to initiate this dynamic will swell the troops already present on the Barkhane field”, which currently counts 4,500 men, added the French head of state.
“The priority is the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara (EIGS), which does not prevent us from fighting all the armed terrorist groups but it is the priority enemy because the most dangerous,” he said. for follow-up. A month after threatening to withdraw French troops from the region in a context of anti-French sentiment, Emmanuel Macron estimated that he had obtained the necessary “clarification” from his partners who in a joint declaration expressed the wish to see the Barkhane operation.
In early monrning hours around 4 AM Al-Shabaab militants launched an attack on the Manda-Magogoni naval base in Lamu. Heavy exchange of fire is ongoing, Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia confirms. (Image: sodial media).
In a brief statement the US military command for Africa, AFRICOM, confirmed there had been an attack, but did not provide any detail.
“U.S. Africa Command acknowledges there was an attack at Manda Bay Airfield, Kenya and is monitoring the situation. Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the incident. As facts and details emerge, we will provide an update.”
Militants from the Somali Islamist Shebaab group, affiliated with Al-Qaeda, launched an attack on a military base operated by American and Kenyan forces in Lamu (north of the country), near the Somali border, according to a local official Agnece France press reports. The press-release of the militants circulates in social media.
In the press-release Al-Shabaab group said the raid resulted in “severe casualties on both American and Kenyan troops stationed there.”
“The Mujahideen fighters covertly entered enemy lines, successfully stormed the heavily fortified military base and have now taken effective control of a part of the base,” the armed group announced.
The suicide bomber involved in the attack on Camp Simba in Manda Bay and fighters have taken control of part of the base, they claim. There are indications that plane was set on fire, while the heavy cloude of smoke has been seen from afar.
Military cargo plane from Turkey landed in Mogadishu on December 29 to evacuate people badly wounded in a truck bombing a day earlier that killed at least 90 people, including two Turkish nationals.
The plane also brought emergency medical staff and supplies, according to a tweet from the Turkish embassy, adding these had been transported to a Turkish-run hospital in Mogadishu.
Somali Information Minister Mohamed Abdi Hayir Mareye told state media that 10 badly injured Somalis would be evacuated to Turkey. He added that Turkey had sent 24 doctors to treat those wounded who would stay in the capital.
“Today’s car bomb attack in Mogadishu has caused the lives of many and injured a lot people. We wish for a speedy recovery of those injured, and reaffirm our continued solidarity and support to the people of Somalia” the EU top diplomat Josep Borrell wrote in his Twitter micro blog.
At least 90 people have been killed and more than 100 wounded in a car bomb attack in the Somali capital Mogadishu on December 28, authorities said.
Police officer Mohamed Hussein said the blast targeted a tax collection centre during the morning rush hour, AFP reported.
Those wounded include children and several university students who had been travelling in a bus, he added.
A car bomb exploded in the Somali capital Mogadishu on December 28, leaving at least 90 dead and scores of injured – with the death toll expected to rise.
The explostion occured in a busy area of the Somali capital Mogadishu, in the middle of desnse city traffic. “The number of casualties we have confirmed is 76 dead and 70 wounded, it could still be higher,” the director of the private Aamin Ambulance services, Abdukadir Abdirahman Haji told AFP.
Among the victims are students and two Turkish nationals, the Somali Foreign minister said.
Mogadishu is regularly hit by car bombs and attacks waged by Al-Shabaab Islamist militants allied to Al-Qaeda.
The group was forced out of the Somali capital in 2011 but still controls parts of the countryside and has also staged attacks in neighbouring Kenya.
A car bomb explosion shuttered Somali town of Galkayo in the Mudug region, claiming lives of at least seven civilians, and wounding dozens, local authorities confirmed.
The official said the driver intended to enter the hotel compound, but failed and instead hit a military pickup parked outside, serving as a protection.
“So far we know of seven people who died, mostly civilians, but the death toll may rise,” said Major Ali Umar. “Over a dozen others were injured, mostly Somali military personnelL”
An employee at Galkayo hospital said it had received over 30 wounded as a result of the explosion, Reuters news agency reports.
Highly likely the act is another attack of of Al Shabaab Islamist group is fighting to assess power and establish a Caliphate. It has already control over small sections of the Mudug region.
French troops neutralised 33 militants on in Mali near the border with Mauritania, French President Emmanuel Macron said. (Image: archive)
“This morning, thanks to an engagement by our soldiers and the Barkhane forces, we were able to neutralize 33 terrorists, take one prisoner and free two Malian gendarmes who had been held hostage,” Macron said during in a speech in Ivory Coast.
French army command confirmed the death toll in the operation, taking place overnight near the Mauritanian border about 150 km northwest of the town of Mopti in Mal.