Mogadishu-2 February 2013: The African Union Mission in Somalia has condemned the mortar attacks directed towards civilians in the town of Beletwyene.
In the early morning of Friday, the Al Qaeda-affiliated terror group, al Shabaab, launched a series of attacks against the city which were repulsed by AMISOM troops. During the attacks, the al Shabaab launched mortar attacks into the heart of the city, killing one man and critically injuring one woman.
AMISOM pursued the attackers as far as Luq Jello, an al Shabaab camp 30km from Beletweyne. At least two al Shabaab leaders in the area were among 19 casualties suffered by the terror group. AMISOM lost one soldier and three Somali National Army were critically injured.
AMISOM Force Commander, Lt. General Andrew Gutti, termed the attack heinous and cowardly assault on the people of Beletweyne.
“These attacks are aimed at derailing the efforts of the Somali people to recover from the years of lawlessness when the group controlled the city.”
Gen Gutti sent his condolences to the family and friends of the victims of the attack and his prayers for a quick recovery for the injured.
AMISOM will continue to do everything in its power to support the Somali people and to ensure that the terrorist threat is eradicated so that the population can go about their daily lives without fear,” he added.
Over the last 18 months, with help from AMISOM, Somali national security forces have pushed the al Shabaab out of much of south and central Somalia. In the last three months of last year, the extremist group was forced to flee from its former strongholds in the southern port city of Kismayo as well as Jowhar, 90 km north of the capital, Mogadishu.