Street FIGHT:Conflict
Amnesty Offer for Al-Shabaab Fighters
Elements Remaining in Mogadishu Continue Attacks
TFG soldier replacing al-Shabaab flag in Bakara
©Somalia Report
TFG soldier replacing al-Shabaab flag in Bakara

The Somali government has granted an amnesty to al-Shabaab fighters still in Mogadishu, giving them 48 hours to give themselves up.

The insurgent group withdrew from its bases in Mogadishu on Saturday, although pockets of fighters have been left behind to launch hit-and-run attacks.

“Any al-Shabaab member who complies this will be treated well, they should surrender and accept peace,” government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman told Somalia Report. “It is a golden opportunity for them to rejoin their own community in peace and people would forgive them for their imperfections.”

Al-Shabaab said its departure from its bases was a simply a change in tactics, although many point to a split between its leaders over the response to the famine, a lack of funds and ammunition to maintain the battle in Mogadishu, and a drop in popularity as the real reason.

Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, the former head of Hizbul Islam, which merged with al-Shabaab, said that the new tactics had already begun.

“The media misled the real interpretation of a tactic change by al-Shabaab, we have launched the first phase of our tactic change,” he told reporters on the outskirts of Mogadishu. “We will continue fighting against the infidels and their collaborators until the last drop of blood.”

There has been fighting over the last few days between the al-Shabaab fighters remaining in Daynile and Yaaqshid districts and pro-government forces, with at least ten dead.

Abdi-aziz Abu Mus’ab, spokesman of al-Shabaab, told Somalia Report that their fighters had already scored victories and would continue to do so.

“We now prefer the urban guerrilla war based on hit-and-run tactics rather than the conventional fighting, which we have been using in recent years,” he said.

Al-Shabaab Begins Hit and Run Attacks, Children Dead

Meanwhile at least 14 people, including a mother and her three children, were killed and more than 20 others were injured as heavy gunfire and shelling broke out between Transitional Federal Government (TFG) - African Union Peacekeeping forces (AMISOM) against al-Shabaab in parts of Mogadishu on Monday.

The confrontation erupted after Somali government troops tried to enter parts of Yaqshid district and met resistance from al-Shabaab fighters.

Residents told Somali Report that al-Shabaab fighters killed five TFG soldiers near Fagah junction in Yaqshid after a hit and run attack on TFG vehicles in that area.

“About 10:30am local time (7:00am GMT) al-Shabaab fighters launched hit and run attacks on TFG vehicles in Fagah,” said a resident in Yaqshid. “I saw TFG forces carrying the bodies of five soldiers.”

An eyewitness told Somalia Report that mortars hit in Jungal village and killed eight civilians, among them three children and their mother, and injured more than 22 people.

“I witnessed a father carrying the bodies of his three children and his wife after a mortar killed them,” said Ahmed Jemis. “Four other people also died and 22 civilians were rushed to Keysaney hospital.”

In addition, al-Shabaab fighters attacked AMISOM bases in Warshadaha Street where the peacekeepers reached on Sunday.

Failed Suicide Attack

An attempted suicide attack by al-Shabaab failed when a car packed with explosives blew up prematurely as the drive was entering the outskirts of Mogadishu from Elasha Biyaha. The incident occurred between 13 kilometer and Siinka-Dhere in southwestern part of the capital, local residents told Somalia Report.

Border fighting

Meanwhile, at least three fighters died and two others were injured when al-Shabaab attacked pro-government forces in a village near Luq district.

Diyaad Abdi Kalil, A TFG military officer in Luq, told Somalia Report a government base came under attack.

“They fired for 20 minutes and ran away: we killed three of them and injured more,” he said.

Abu Mus’ab told a pro al-Shabaab radio station in Kismayo that they killed more than ten pro-government troops in the fight before withdrawing.

“The Mujahideen attacked pro-Ethiopia militia bases in Luq,” he said. “We captured their arsenal, and seized all the weapons, including machine guns, AK47s and uncountable bullets.”