Monday July 28 2014

UPDF, AMISOM troops capture Al-shabaab weapons

AMISOM commanders inspect the captured weapons.

AMISOM commanders inspect the captured weapons. Photo by Henry Obbo 

By Risdel Kasasira

African Union troops from the Ugandan Contingent in Somalia on Monday captured an assortment of weapons and ammunition from al shabaab insurgents who heightened attacks on key government installations in Mogadishu during the month of Ramadan.

A statement issued by the deputy UPDF spokesperson, Maj. Henry Obbo said the guns were seized at Asuman Atto Garage in Mogadishu during a cordon and search operation conducted on monday morning.

The AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa said in the same statement that the operations were part of the wider effort to improve security in Mogadishu and Somalia in general.

The insurgents have attacked Presidential palace and parliament in the last one month, leaving a number of people dead.

“Since we launched operation Eagle, we also launched the cordon and search in Mogadishu which is a bigger activity conducted by AMISOM troops, particularly sector one commander, which is occupied by UPDF forces, jointly, with the Somali National Army, with NISA and Somali people,” he was quoted in a statement.

The weaponry, according to Lt. Gen. Silas Ntigurirwa, were already assembled and loaded for use and could have been used to cause “extensive harm” to the Somali people.

“I think this is a good sign which shows the international community, which assures the Federal Government of Somalia and the Somali people that very soon, Somali will get peace and security,” he added.

The Commander UPDF Contingent, Brig. Dick Olum applauded the Somali people for providing key intelligence information that has facilitated frustration of several attacks by the al Shabaab. He however called for vigilance, warning that al Shabaab terrorists easily blend into communities and may not be easily identified.

The weapons recovered include 151 tortoise grenades, 238 Multi- Grenade Launchers, 43 boxes of 82 millimetre motor fuses, rocket propel grenade pipes as well as RPG shells and guns. Also recovered were sipper riffles with attached telescopes, anti-tanker bombs and various types of guns and ammunition.