Al Shabab Terror Group Resurges In Somalia Ahead Of AU Troop Pullout - Reports

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Al Shabab Terror Group Resurges in Somalia Ahead of AU Troop Pullout - Reports

The Al-Shabab terrorist group appears to be gaining strength in Somalia as a scheduled May pullout of African Union troops approaches, the Soufan Group said in a report on Thursday

WASHINGTON (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 16th January, 2020) The Al-Shabab terrorist group appears to be gaining strength in Somalia as a scheduled May pullout of African Union troops approaches, the Soufan Group said in a report on Thursday.

"Since March 2017, al-Shabab has launched close to 900 attacks on civilians and hundreds more against US, Somali, and Kenyan troops," the report said. "Somali forces are currently slated to assume responsibility for security in May, when troops from the African Union [AU] are scheduled to depart."

As a result, analysts fear that an AU withdrawal will further destabilize the East African nation and empower Al-Shabab, an affiliate of the Al-Qaeda (banned in Russia) terrorist group.

In December 2019, al-Shabab detonated an explosives-laden truck at a busy intersection in Mogadishu, killing 79 people and injuring 149 more, the report noted.

The attack drew comparisons to a double truck bombing that occurred in October 2017, which resulted in the deaths of nearly 600 civilians.

In addition to 900 attacks on civilians in less than two years, al-Shabab has launched hundreds of attacks against US, Somali and Kenyan troops in both Somalia and Kenya, according to the report.

Despite weathering a string of territorial losses, defections, and the killing of several high-profile leaders in the past decade and a half, the group has proved remarkably resilient, even in the face of an intensified US campaign that included at least 60 drone-based strikes last year, the report said.

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