GEDO—A top official in the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) in Somalia was killed on Thursday evening in Gedo region in an attack claimed by the Al-Qaida linked militant group, Alshabaab.
Local media reported that Abdirahman Abdullahi Bakal Kooke was killed in a roadside explosion. He was the head of intelligence in the Gedo region that neighbours Kenya.
The incident happened between the towns of Luuq and Dolow. The attack also left six other officials in his team injured.
Kooke was a vital link in the fight against the Alshabaab in the region closely working with Kenya Defence (KDF) both inside Somalia and in Mandera.
He was also a bridge between the KDF, the Ethiopia National Defence Forces (ENDF) and the Somali National Army.
In a statement, NISA Director Mahad Salad called for investigations into Kooke’s death. NISA is accredited for providing fighting tips to security forces and also arresting suspected attackers in Somalia.
Gedo remains an epicentre of the fight against Alshabaab with KDF putting much focus on the area since the militants use the region as entry into Kenya.
The 2016 El-Adde attack on KDF increased their surveillance in the region leading to reduced terror activities.
After taking oath of office, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud vowed to defeat the militants. According to recent data released by Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, 500 militants have since been killed in the past five months across Somalia.
Al shabaab is under pressure to surrender on several fronts following spirited operations by the federal government of Somalia assisted by US Africa Command, the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and Macawisley, the local militia.
Despite the little gains, Alshabaab group has continued to wage retaliatory attacks in major towns in Somalia including in the capital Mogadishu.