September 4, 2017 | Morning Headlines

Main Story

Somalia Confirms 20 Militants Killed In Military Base Attack

03 September – Source: SABC News – 274 Words

At least 20 Al-Shabaab militants were killed and several others injured early Sunday when the insurgents raided a military base in the outskirts of Somalia’s coastal city of Kismayo. Ismail Sahardid with Somalia National Army (SNA) confirmed the attack at Buulo Guduud, some 30 kilometers north of Kismayo at dawn which caused casualties on both sides. “Terrorists attacked our base in Buulo Guduud with suicide car bomb attacks, then fighting erupted causing casualties on both sides. We resisted the militants and killed 20 fighters during the operation, we are in control of the base now,” Sahardid said.

He did not provide the number of casualties on the SNA side and denied that the militants seized some vehicles. Al-Shabaab militants claimed victory over the deadly attack at Buulo Guduud base, saying its fighters killed 25 soldiers, recovered three vehicles and took large amount of ammunition from SNA store there. It also said they captured Buulo Guduud.

Independent sources say that the casualties are more than told and 24 Jubaland State forces and government soldiers were hospitalized at the main general hospital in Kismayo town.Witness said the military base is jointly operated by the SNA and forces from the semi-autonomous Jubaland region of southern Somalia.

Key Headlines

  • Somalia Confirms 20 Militants Killed In Military Base Attack (SABC News)
  • Puntland Government Remains Silent On Af Urur Attack (Garowe Online)
  • Bodies of Two Elders Found In Elwak Days After Militants Abducted Them (Somali Update)
  • Somalia Seeks US Help Says Militants Plot to Supply Uranium To Iran (VOA News)
  • US Military Says Somalia Airstrike Kills Al-Shabaab Fighter (Associated Press)
  • Foreign And ‘futureless’ Saudi-born Somali Women Struggle To Find Work  (AFP)


Puntland Government Remains Silent On Af Urur Attack

03 September – Source: Garowe Online – 254 Words

The Government of Somalia’s northeastern region of Puntland remains silent on two deadly explosions that  occurred last Friday, September 1, 2017 in Af Urur, 100km southwest of the port town of Bossaso. The twin blasts  claimed the lives of at least seven people – four soldiers and three civilians, while more than 43 others were wounded, among them 22 civilians, who were admitted in local hospitals.

Medical officials said that ten of the victims were in critical conditions after they had been critically injured by the explosions.Sources revealed that the first bomb went off as soldiers gathered at kiosk to buy khat, the stimulant leaves, and within minutes it was followed by a another IED explosion.. The Al Qaeda-linked Al- Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the blasts caused by two bombs concealed in the Khat market, saying they killed at least six Puntland soldiers, and injured dozens.

Puntland government officials and security agencies did not offer their condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the ruthless bombings in Af Urur, targeting innocent people and the state forces. Reliable sources, told Garowe Online that the newly appointed Puntland Security Minister visited victims of the attack who are currently being treated at a hospital in Armo district, but he did not speak to the media on the incident. On the other hand, the Federal Government of Somalia has not commented on the Af Urur attack as its weak security agencies are dealing with the rampant terror attacks in the capital Mogadishu.

Bodies of Two Elders Found In Elwak Days After Militants Abducted Them

02 September – Source: Somali Update – 337 Words

Bodies of two elders were found by locals outside Elwak town in Gedo region days after suspected Al-Shabaab members abducted them, District Commissioner Ibrahim Guled Adam confirmed. The two elders – Adam Moalim Aliyow and Abdirahman Ugas Ali, both prominent traditional elders were kidnapped from their homes in Elwak town a week ago and were missing since then.

Family members who were called by the local authorities have identified the bodies before the officials ordered the bodies to be buried. “We have received reports of dead bodies lying a nearby bush and when we went there to check, we have seen the two bodies. Both were the elders kidnapped earlier.” said the district officer Adam. He said the killers were known members of the militant group. “We know those who did this heinous act were known Al-Shabaab members.” he added.

According to one resident, who first saw the bodies and asked his identity withheld, the two elders’ bodies had three bullet scars each on the head and signs of beating showing that they were also tortured. A family member of one of the killed elders- Abdirahman Ugas Ali, told Somali Update Online that the elder has previously received death threats by people claiming to be Al-Shabaab members.”He (the elder Abdirahman) was involved in  peace initiatives in the local community and took part several meetings with Jubbaland officials and the Kenyan military commanders who urged local elders to preach peace.” the family member who sought anonymity due to safety concerns told Somali Update Online.

The Al-Qaeda affiliate militant group attacked Elwak town twice this year and one time shortly seized before they were chased out by government forces backed by the Kenyan Army. The group also targets locals perceived to be collaborating with the government or the African Union forces. El Wak is a strategic town located near the Somali border with Kenya, also a main supply route for Kenyan troops operating in southwestern Somalia. Al-Shabaab lost the town in 2011 when Kenyan troops crossed border into Somalia.


Somalia Seeks US Help, Says Militants Plot to Supply Uranium To Iran

01 September – Source: VOA English – 689 Words

The Somali government has asked the United States to provide “immediate military assistance” because it says al-Shabab militants are plotting to supply uranium to Iran. In a letter to U.S. Ambassador to Somalia Stephen Schwartz, Somali Foreign Minister Yusuf Garaad Omar says the militant group has captured “critical surface exposed uranium deposits” in the central Somali region of Galmudug and intend to transport the uranium to Iran. The letter says the issue presents a problem for the larger global community and will not be constrained within the borders of Somalia. The authenticity of the letter was confirmed to VOA’s Somali service by the Somali ambassador to the U.S., Ahmed Isse Awad.

The letter says Somalia is facing a “reconstituted” al-Shabab that is seizing territory in central Somalia. It also says the group is linking up with Islamic State militants in the country. In the letter, the foreign minister says “only the United States has the capacity to identify and smash Al-Shabaab elements operating within our country.” “The time for surgical strikes and limited engagement has passed, as Somalia’s problems have metastasized into the world’s problems. Every day that passes without intervention provides America’s enemies with additional material for nuclear weapons,” Omar writes.

The copy of the letter obtained by VOA offers no proof for Omar’s assertions, though it refers to an intelligence brief sent to Schwartz. Abdirashid Khalif Hashi, a former government minister and current director of the Heritage Institute for Policy Studies, a think tank in Mogadishu, said he initially thought the letter was fake. But even with the government’s confirmation, Hashi said he had “several issues” with the letter. “First of all, it was written by a minister to an ambassador; he should have sent it to his [U.S.] counterpart,” he told VOA. “They [the government] have also linked al-Shabab with Daesh, and they can’t be linked up.”

US Military Says Somalia Airstrike Kills Al-Shabaab Fighter

01 September – Source: Associated Press – 223 Words

A U.S. military airstrike in Somalia has killed an Al-Shabaab fighter and wounded another, the U.S. Africa Command said Friday, as the fight picks up against Africa’s deadliest Islamic extremist group. The U.S. statement said the strike was carried out Thursday near Barawe town in southern Somalia’s Lower Shabelle region.

At least one missile struck a location outside Barawe that the extremists often use to launch attacks on the government-held town, a Somali intelligence official said. He declined to give further details. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Al-Shabaab “has cemented its control of southern and central Somalia” and used the area to “plot and direct terror attacks, steal humanitarian aid and to shelter other radical terrorists,” the U.S. statement said.

The U.S. military has carried out several airstrikes against fighters with the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab in the Horn of Africa nation since President Donald Trump approved expanded military operations against the group. That includes more aggressive air strikes and considering parts of southern Somalia areas of active hostilities.

Somalia is currently suffering from drought that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people and left more than 3 million people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance. Aid groups have expressed concern about how the fight against Al-Shabaab affects them.


“Samia, a 27-year-old Somali, is likewise unemployed, and likewise does not beat around the bush when it comes to her experience trying to secure steady income for her and her young son. For 20 years, Samia’s mother worked as a school janitor in Saudi Arabia. Her father, who is deceased, was an accountant under the kingdom’s controversial kafala system,”

Foreign And ‘futureless’, Saudi-born Somali Women Struggle To Find Work

03 September – Source: AFP- 722 Words

Hafsa had hoped to land a much-needed job distributing meals for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday. One question stood in her way: “Are you, your husband, or any of your relatives Saudi?” Born in Saudi Arabia to Somali parents, Hafsa had applied for temporary work during the holiday, which marked the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in June.

The job did not have any educational requirements, and the 30-year-old — who has neither a university degree nor Saudi citizenship — was hopeful. She knocked at the door of an office overseeing logistics for Eid al-Fitr. An eye appeared through a peephole. A voice asked her if she or anyone in her immediate family was a citizen of Saudi Arabia. The door, she said, did not open. ‘We are different’ “Over the past three years, it has become harder and harder to find a job,” said Hafsa, who along with other women interviewed for this story asked AFP not to use her real name.

When her immigrant parents first arrived to Saudi Arabia, “they accepted that the system was the system and we had to follow it,” she said. “They had no ambitions. They did not question if they had rights. We are different.”

The ultra-conservative kingdom is home to more than nine million foreigners who constitute a third of the country’s population of 31 million, a relatively low percentage compared to other Gulf countries. Since 2011, authorities have imposed quotas on employers for Saudi citizens, in a bid to curb unemployment in a country where more than half the population is under the age of 25. Among the nine million foreigners is Nour, who was fretting over a table setting at the restaurant where she had a temp job during the Muslim hajj pilgrimage to the western city of Mecca, which ends on Monday.


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