Somalia probes attacks on telecoms towers in southern region

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The Somali government said it has launched an investigation into the recent military airstrikes which destroyed telecoms masts and paralyzed operations of a telecoms company in the southern region.

The Ministry of Defense condemned such strikes in Jubba and Gedi regions which destroyed the towers operated by Hormuud Telecom, the country’s largest telecoms service company.

“The Somali government is disappointed for any harm done to its citizens and we share our concerns to this company for the loss of its business which has been repeated,” the ministry said in a statement issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, Saturday evening.

The airstrikes were carried out Tuesday in the vicinity of Jilib, a region which is the stronghold of al-Shabab in the Middle Juba region. The exact details of the airstrikes which destroyed some buildings and telecoms towers were not provided.

The ministry said that it’s in direct contact with African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and other partners assisting the government in security operations to share its concerns and find out what is happening in the two regions.

“The Somali government is conducting a formal investigation into these recurring incidents of violence against the Somali people,” the ministry said.

The United Nations special investigators which monitor sanctions in Somalia found the AU troops were responsible for such attacks in 2019 in a possible effort to stop the al-Shabab militant group from using mobile signals to detonate bombs.

The UN panel noted in a report that such attacks on telecoms towers may prevent the militant group from triggering explosive devices using mobile networks.

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