US Forces carried out a strike against an “al-Shabaab vehicle-borne improvised explosive device” in the early hours of December 12th, US Africa Command announced, which it said had removed an “imminent threat to the people of Mogadishu”.
The early morning strike hit 65 kilometers southwest of the capital, AFRICOM said (later noting that the strike was also 35 miles from the village of Illimey.) Ali Enure, the deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region, placed this event in the village of Mubarak in the Lower Shabelle region.
“The vehicle was loaded with explosives intended to harm civilians,” Enure told VOA. “Our intelligence sources in the area and local residents who saw the vehicle reported to us that the vehicle was destroyed, as a missile from a drone hit the hood.”
Al Shabaab reportedly claimed that photos showing damage to a minibus carrying bananas had in fact been the target vehicle. The light damage shown in pictures is relatively small considering local reports – and US Africa Command’s assertion – that the target vehicle was carrying explosives.
PHOTOS: Pictures show a mini bus carrying bananas that was hit a suspected US airstrike in Mubarak village on Tuesday morning. casualties unknown. pic.twitter.com/5JrdyHGXIa
— Hussein Mohamed (@HussienM12) December 12, 2017
AFRICOM said they had assessed that no civilians were killed in the strike. There were no further details on casualty figures.
In a July 2019 FOIA release, AFRICOM made passing reference to this same event though placed it on December 11th, noting that “On 11 December 2017, one week after the alleged incident [on December 6th], AFRICOM did strike a VBIED approximately 35 miles from this location but no secondary explosions were observed.”
The incident occured between 12:01 am and 6:00 am local time.
Sources (7) [ collapse]
from sources (1) [ collapse]
Reports of the incident mention that the strike targeted an Al Shabaab VBIED (vehicle-born improvised explosive device) in the village of Mubaraak, around 65 kilometers southwest of Mogadishu. The coordinates for the village of Mubaraak are: 1.9172773, 44.7731843. Due to limited information and satellite imagery available to Airwars, we were unable to verify the location further.
United States Armed Forces Assessment:
Original strike reports
"In coordination with the Federal Government of Somalia, U.S. forces conducted an airstrike against an al-Shabaab vehicle-borne improvised explosive device in the early morning hours of Dec. 12, approximately 65 kilometers southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.
This strike supports our partner forces by removing an imminent threat to the people of Mogadishu.
We assess no civilians were killed in the strike."