ADDIS ABEBA – More than 4,000 civilians have been killed in al-Shabab attacks since 2010, according to records compiled by the independent group Armed Conflict, Location and Event Data Project, or ACLED.
The majority of the deaths were in Somalia – where the population is almost entirely Muslim – with smaller numbers stemming from attacks in Kenya, Uganda and Djibouti. More than 3,000 of the deaths have occurred since 2015.
ACLED says the figure encompasses deaths from shooting attacks, abductions, suicide bombings, and other incidents in which civilians were “determined to be the direct, primary target.” It excludes deaths from battles with the military or other armed groups, and bombing attacks primarily targeting security forces, ACLED says.
ACLED also says the death toll is “the most conservative fatality estimate.”
The true number may be even higher, according to records from Somali doctors. Medina, the biggest hospital in Mogadishu, has recorded more than 54,000 injuries from gun- and bomb-based attacks since 2007, of which 75 percent are civilians.
Hospital director Dr. Mohamed Yusuf estimates there were 20- to 25 fatalities for every 100 injured people brought to the hospital. Based on that estimate, fatalities from attacks involving al-Shabab may be more than 10,000, most of them civilians.
Image: An ambulance carrying an injured person from an attack by al-Shabab gunmen on a hotel near the presidential residence arrives at Shaafi hospital in Mogadishu, Somalia, Dec. 10, 2019. [Photo File]