Friday January 20, 2023
Danab Brigade Deputy Commander, Major Hassan Mohamed Osman (Hassan Tuure)
Mogadishu (HOL) - A dawn raid on a military compound in the recently liberated Gal'ad district claimed the life of Major Hassan Mohamed Osman (Hassan Tuure), the battle-tested deputy commander who led the Danab brigade to dozens of victories in the ongoing offensive against Al Shabaab in central Somalia.
According to early reports, the raid began with a twin-car bomb attack just after morning prayers targeting the military base's gates before Al Shabaab fighters stormed the compound. Several other soldiers were also reportedly killed in the attack.
The military compound is located 375km north of Somalia's capital, Mogadishu.
Tuure has been described by military and government officials as the unsung hero of the ongoing military offensive against Al Shabaab.
According to state media, government forces inside the compound reportedly repelled the Al Shabaab attack and prevented the militants from taking over the base.
Al Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack, claiming to have killed 159 government soldiers. The militant insurgency group has been known to dramatically inflate its death toll figures which cannot be independently confirmed.
Friday's attack comes days after the al-Qaeda affiliate lost control of the strategic towns of Haradhere and Gal'ad in central Galmudug state.
In the face of mounting battlefield losses, Al Shabaab has launched guerrilla-style counterattacks on government soldiers and anti-Shabaab militia in recently liberated districts.
Danab Brigade, also known as Lightning Brigade, is a Somali National Army (SNA) commando force trained and equipped by the United States. It was established in 2014 as part of the U.S. government's effort to strengthen Somali security forces' ability to fight extremist groups like Al Shabaab. The commandos have been credited with several successful operations, including capturing senior Al Shabaab leaders and disrupting the group's activities in southern Somalia.
This story is developing.