Al-Shabaab Kills Scores in Attack on Puntland Army Base

Attackers Overran Puntland Base, Executed Large Numbers of Soldiers

Fighters from Somalia’s al-Shabaab militant faction have attacked and overrun a military base in the autonomous region of Puntland, killing scores of people and wounding dozens of others. Reports suggest a number of the slain were troops executed at close range.

Al-Shabaab’s official statement taking credit for the attack claimed 61 Puntland soldiers killed in the attack, and that does appear roughly in keeping with other reports, though Puntland officials are mostly not commenting on the matter in any official capacity, beyond the military saying reinforcements were sent to the area.

Though still considered de jure part of Somalia by the international community, Puntland is for all intents and purposes and independent nation, and has severed all ties with the Somalia central government since 2013, having mostly avoided the heavy fighting related to Somalia’s central government trying to take power, and looking to keep it that way.

Al-Shabaab, however, has grown increasingly influential across the region, and that has included spreading their influence into Puntland, with this the largest single attack they’ve faced in many years.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.