Monday, June 24, 2024

AFRICOM denies role in Puntland’s deadly AS airstrike

Wednesday May 29, 2024

Mogadishu (HMC) — The U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) has denied involvement in a recent military operation in the Calmadow Mountains of Somalia’s Sanaag region, according to a text message clarification sent to VOA following inquiries about the incident.

On May 26, the Somali government reported that its National Army, with support from international partners, killed more than 20 al-Shabaab militants, including three key leaders, in an airstrike in the Calmadow Mountains. Somalia State TV said the operation targeted militants planning an attack and injured several others.

However, the Puntland administration disputed this claim the next day. Puntland’s Minister of Information, Mohamud Ayidi Dirir, asserted that Puntland forces control the area and that the federal government lacks the capability to conduct such operations there. He confirmed that explosions had occurred but refuted the federal government’s assertion of responsibility for the operation.

The Puntland Ministry of Information released a statement denying the federal government’s report and reaffirming Puntland’s ability to manage its security. They emphasized their commitment to eliminating terrorist groups in the region.

Somalia’s Deputy Minister of Information, Abdirahman Yusuf Al-Addaala, had stated earlier that the federal government, with international support, launched the attack targeting top al-Shabaab leaders in Puntland. He added that al-Shabaab militants had regrouped in eastern Puntland after defeats in Galmudug and Hirshabelle.

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