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The Islamist al-Shabaab fighters in Gedo region of Somalia conducted a hit and run attack in El Adde town, 60 km from Garboharey, around midnight on Sunday and destroyed the town's only water pump. The insurgent group also targeted the town’s police station which serves as a base for Somalia's Transitional Federal Government (TFG) forces.
Ahmed Hurreh, a resident of El Adde town who talked to Somalia Report, confirmed the attack.
"At around 12am on Sunday night, the al-Shabaab fighters entered the town and exchanged fire with the TFG forces who are at the police station and some others also fought in the other end of the town towards the road to Garboharey. The people were asleep at that time and so nobody knew what was going on, but it was clear that there was a hit and run attack on the town.”
This comes three months after TFG forces backed by the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) took over El Adde from the al-Shabaab fighters and remained to maintain security.
No casualties have yet been reported, and residents fear more fighting is yet to come.
Water Pump Destroyed
During the attack, the al-Shabaab fighters targeted the town’s only water pump by first destroying the motor with gunfire and then burning it, and making the water undrinkable. Although there are small lakes that hold water during the rainy seasons, they are not safe to drink.
Residents speculated on different reasons why the militants targeted the pump and most concluded that (1) the presence of the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) in the town provoked the attack; and, (2) al-Shabaab wants to impose a sanction on El Adde in terms of basic needs to force residents to urge TFG and KDF forces to leave.
The residents of El Adde town have bitterly condemned the action.
“The destroying of the motor is inhumane. It is clear they want to ruin everything and they don’t care about the children and the elderly people in the society. They don’t even care about the animals that depend on that water source they are destroying,” Istar Jego a resident at El Adde town told Somalia Report.
Noor Mohemed, a TFG security officer at El Adde confirmed the incident.
“The peace haters attacked the town on Sunday night but their attack was just a hit and run one because they cannot withstand our forces. They decided to harm the society without classifying who is worth the fight and harm. By destroying the only water machine for a town inhabited by elderly, children and women is not a tactic of war but a sign of cowardice and evil mindedness,” the official told Somalia Report.
“Why not face the ones who are ready to fight against you instead of hurting the innocent people? Our forces will not be affected much by that evil motive of the al-Shabaab. It just shows how they are inhumane and don’t care about anything that is good for the society,” he added.
It was early last month when the al-Shabaab militia also targeted the water pump of Garboharey town of Gedo region, destroying the motor. In that case, the residents had another spare and made the repairs.
Al-Shabaab has not yet commented on this attack.