Al-Shabaab kill donkeys, burn food in Bakool region
Al-Shabaab fighters have shot and killed nine transport donkeys on Thursday suspected of ferrying goods to government-controlled areas in Bakool, an official said
The Al-Qaeda linked militants also burned the carts and kidnapped two individuals who presumably owned the carts.
Residents and officials told that the militants seized the carts at Elboon, 15 kilometres west of Wajid.
In many rural towns controlled by Al-Shabaab, a donkey cart is the only viable mode of smuggling goods.
Abdikadir Nur Goome, the chairperson of Wajid town said that the militants ambushed the caravan while heading to Wajid town.
“Al-Shabaab militants have attacked a group of traders who were food transporting food on donkey carts,” Goome told the State-owned Radio Muqdisho.
He pointed out the militants drove the merchants to at a village under their control and burnt the food.
“Al-Shabaab killed the 9 donkeys that were transporting food and they also torched the food together with carts. the consignment is belong to the traders in Wajid town,” he explained.
Goome confirmed that some of the traders who arrested by the group reached Wajid unharmed after they escaped from the militants.
Somali forces and local authorities had arrived in the area where the incident happened and launched a search for the militants, according to Goome.
Al-Shabaab militants have isolated Wajid, Hudur and many other towns in Bakool from other towns in the country and have been blocking humanitarian assistance from reaching vulnerable populations there.
The Somali army, alongside the African Union peacekeeping troops in Somalia, has been battling Al-Shabaab militants, which still controls rural areas in southern Somalia and often attack military and civilian targets in the country.
The Somali government and African Union Mission (AMISOM) have vowed to end the siege, but several towns in Bakool, Bay, Hiran, Galgudud and Hiran regions continue to be surrounded by the militants.