At least 13 Somali troops were killed in a roadside bombing when their vehicle hit an IED. They were part of a military intelligence unit’s convoy.

The convoy had been traveling near the town of Dhusamareeb in Galmudug State. Among the killed troops was Abdirashid Abdinur, the commander of the National Security Agency (NISA) in Dhusamareb district, located about 250 miles north of the capital of Mogadishu. 

“We are getting terrible reports that 13 security men are all killed in the blast which destroyed their vehicle in the Galmudug province,” said General Masud Mohamud.

The Islamic terrorist group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on its Andalus radio station.

In a report from The Defence Post, Abdiweli Adan, a Somali security officer, said the soldiers were conducting security operations in the area when their vehicle was destroyed by the IED. “The blast ripped through the vehicle and killed most of those onboard. One or two soldiers survived with serious injuries,” he added.

Emergency talks over Somalia’s delayed election are being held in Galmudug State with Somalia’s President Mohamed and regional leaders in attendance. Politicians haven’t been able to come to a decision in choosing a new president.

With many of the country’s leading politicians meeting in Dhusamareeb, the area has come under increased attacks from the terrorist group. Two days prior to this attack, al-Shabaab forces had fired mortars at the town.

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The political impasse has put the country in the midst of an impending constitutional crisis. Information Minister Osman Dube said that the politicians weren’t able to come to an agreement on how to proceed.

“No agreement was reached,” said Dube. “The government offered to negotiate and settle all the disputed issues, but some brothers have failed to understand, and refused to resolve the issues.”

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s term is set to expire and he is seeking another term.

Back in September, he had come to an agreement with the five semi-autonomous regions to hold presidential and parliamentary elections by early 2021. 

Somalia has been wracked by violence perpetrated by al-Shabaab. In 2012, the terrorist organization had pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda. Three years later, several of its members deflected and switched allegiances to the Islamic State (ISIS). 

Government forces had forced the terror group nearly out of the country several years ago and contained it in outlying areas.

But that hasn’t stopped al-Shabaab from carrying out bombing attacks in Mogadishu, the country’s capital. In 2017, a twin bombing killed over 500 people. On January 31, a bombing and terror attack at a hotel in Mogadishu, used by military and government officials, resulted in five deaths including a former general. 

On February 8, a military convoy, which was escorting trucks transporting goods to large urban centers, was hit with a roadside IED resulting in the death of six soldiers and two civilian drivers. 

The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has kept up a steady series of airstrikes against al-Shabaab and in support of the internationally recognized government forces in their fight against the terrorist group.