In Beledweyne, the regional capital of Hiran, two car bombs led by suicide terrorists first exploded, damaging the military base of Lamagalaay, inside which are also the offices of the local administration. Civilians, military personnel, and high-ranking officials were among the victims: at least 40 according to the local media; about a hundred people were left injured. A third car bomb then hit a police station in the city (https://somaliguardian.com/news/somalia-news/three-suicide-attacks-target-military-base-in-central-somalias-baladweyne-town/).
The Al Shabaab terrorist group immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks. A few hours earlier, US Forces had announced that they had eliminated one of the leaders of the insurgency, Abdullahi Nadir, during a raid in support of Somali forces (https://www.nigrizia.it/notizia/somalia-ucciso-uno-dei-fondatori-di-al-shabaab).
For some observers, to have organised and executed attacks on such a scale even against a protected target and without running into the meshes of intelligence is a sign of strength for terrorist networks. This has also led to repercussions in the local security forces (https://somaliguardian.com/news/somalia-news/somalia-arrests-police-intelligence-officials-after-deadly-attacks-in-central-town/).
Others see it as evidence of the inability to regain lost ground in the villages of Hiraan. In these areas, the government footprint had not been so visible for over a decade (https://www.radiodalsan.com/en/77582/2022/10/major-military-offensive-against-al-shabaab-begins-in-middle-shabelle/). The action of Ethiopian troops also contributed to this in Gedo (https://www.agenzianova.com/a/634153ba0230b0.29023517/4087168/2022-10-04/somalia-truppe-etiopi-entrano-nella-regione-di-ghedo-per-unirsi-a-lotta-ad-al-shabaab).
The qualitative difference lies in the participation of local clans – and two levels of interaction can be observed. Clan militias are more active, and take part in the government offensive. The population is still apparently more sceptical and distant. Without its contribution, it will remain difficult to progress on the battlefield over time.