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SOMALIA: Al-Shabab targets telecom infrastructure

Somali militant group Al-Shabaab is targeting telecommunications infrastructure in areas where a concerted military effort is removing them from the villages, officials said on Tuesday.

Somalia’s biggest telecom firm Hormuud said its infrastructure in Galmudug, Central Somalia, had been destroyed in an apparent futile bid to limit communication and coordination against the terror group.

Hormuud Telecom said the incident at Qaayib settlement on Monday was a result of a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) which destroyed the centre and tower. The fall of the mast cut off crucial communication services, the company announced on its Twitter page.

“It’s with great sadness to inform our customers that a VBIED attack destroyed our site in Qaayib, a village in Galgudud region today. Almost 14,000 people lost access to the company’s services including EVC Plus, the only payment method in the area,” Hormuud stated, referring to its mobile money transfer service.

It said a “a car filled with explosives destroyed the area’s telecom center, including the telecom masts, leaving the area and its surroundings out of reach”.