UN Report: Somali insurgents stepping up use of home-made explosives

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Somali security forces look at the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia Fabruary 4, 2019. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

According to a confidential U.N. report seen by Reuters, Somali insurgents have moved away from military-grade explosives and towards homemade explosives (HME).

Somali security forces look at the scene of an explosion in Mogadishu, Somalia Fabruary 4, 2019. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

The confidential report was prepared by a panel of UN experts on Somalia. It also says that evidence from a range of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experts suggests a probable connection between the development of HME and the recent increased frequency of major attacks in Mogadishu.

The analysis was based on at least 20 attacks since July 2018.

The findings only further set back international efforts to fight the al Shabaab insurgency, which has repeatedly carried out attacks in East Africa and launched dozens in Somalia this year despite a dramatic increase in U.S. airstrikes.

Somali government officials could not be reached for comment. Lt Col Charles Imbiakha, spokesman for the African Union peacekeeping force AMISOM, said it could not comment because it had not seen the report.

The U.N. panel also declined to comment and neither organization responded to additional questions from Reuters.

 

 

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