A suspected US drone hit base belong to the Al-Qaeda-linked militant group in southern Somalia, the latest attack targeting the group which carried out high profile deadly attacks in and outside Somalia.
The drone attack took place Saturday in town of Jilib some 120 km to the north of the port of Kismayu when an armed unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with missiles fired on a vehicle in the town.
AMISOM official who is knowledgeable of the raid but who spoke on condition of anonymity said several fighters including commanders were killed in the airstrike.
“We don’t say much about the raid but what we know is that several Al-Shabab fighters including commanders were in the attack” said AMISOM officer.
Residents reported that bodies of four men were identified as Al-Shabaab members were seen in the area after an explosion, a drone was seen leaving the area. A large number of Al-Shabaab fighters then descended on the area.
” I heard a big crash and saw a drone disappearing far into the sky, at least four bodies of Al-Shabaab fighters have been seen in the town seemingly to have run away from the base and later on die of bleeding,” said Mohamed Abdi a resident in the area.
The attack comes barely a day after a new terrorist group that identified itself as “Jahba East Africa” pledged allegiance to ISIS.
In a statement, the group gave Baiah (an oath of allegiance) to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and recognised him as the “rightful Khalifa (leader) of all Muslims”.
“We the mujahideen of JABHA EAST AFRICA announce give bay’ah to the sheikh Abu Bakar Al-Baqdadi Al-Hussayni Al-Qurayshi as the rightful Khalifa of all Muslims in east Africa. we pledge our obidience to him in the times of ease and hardship” reads the statement
Jahba East Africa which is previously unknown has criticised Al-Shabaab which is linked to al-Qaeda and controls swathes of Somalia.
“We in Jahba East Africa are advising all East Africans to leave al-Shabaab and their sponsor groups, like Al-Muhajiroun, Al-Hijra and Ansar Islam,” the statement said.
“Like Al-Shabaab the sponsor groups have not understood the binding obligation of the Khalifah (caliphate).
“We are telling the mujahideen in East Africa that al-Shabaab has now become a psychological and physical prison.
This Jahba East Africa group would be the second group pledging allegiance to ISIS after Al-Shabaab fiction led by Sheikh Abdulkadir Mumin who once lived in London but left to join al-Shabaab in 2010, pledged allegiance in August last year (2015).