Battle of Bakara Market

Collection with 8 media items created by Noe Falk Nielsen

Somalia 29 Apr 2015 00:00

The internationally recognised Somali Government, the Transitional Federal Government, had been under siege since the Ethiopian Army pulled out in January 2009. Protected by a small force of Ugandan and Burundian soldiers deployed as the African Union's Mission to Somalia (AMISOM) the government was functioning in a 25 km2 pocket in the capital, Mogadishu, consisting of the State House Complex, the port and the airport base, where AMISOM had their HQ. In the fall of 2010 Al Shabaab attempted to push the government and the AMISOM forces into the sea in a large offensive referred to as the Ramadan Offensive, but AMISOM held their ground and eventually fought back. One of the main turning points of the conflict appeared at the end of July and beginning of August 2011, where combined AMISOM and government forces managed to push Al Shabaab out of Mogadishu, leaving the group wiht only limited footholds in the north and east of the capital.
The present collection depicts the fighting on the first two days of the offensive, where AMISOM and government forces attacked the Bakara Market in the attempt to dislodge the group from it main stronghold in the city.  

Mogadishu Somalia Amison Al Shabaab Bakara Market Frontline Army Soldiers Bullet Africa Infantry Ugandan T55 Ethiopia State House ... Militia

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Battle of Bakara Market 1
Mogadishu, Somalia
By Noe Falk Nielsen
28 Jul 2011

Here A Ugandan AMISON soldier crosses a road under fire one hundred meters east of Bakara Market. As al-Shabab gathered reinforcements and AMISOM established a new defensive line, the offensive lost its momentum. Al-Shabab occupied positions in front of the AMISOM defensive line shooting and sniping at the soldiers while they tried to construct new defenses.

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Battle of Bakara Market 2
Mogadishu, Somalia
By Noe Falk Nielsen
28 Jul 2011

A Ugandan AMINSOM soldier near the frontline during the battle of Bakara Market in Mogadishu on 28 July 2011. AMISOM has been involved in an urban war since their arrival in Somalia. They have been fighting with weaponry dating back to the 1960s. Regardless, they fought an unrelenting war against al-Shabab. Ugandan soldiers making up most of the AMISOM force and the fighting has been bitter and deadly.

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Battle of Bakara Market 3
Mogadishu, Somalia
By Noe Falk Nielsen
28 Jul 2011

A Ugandan machine gunner at a fortification on the frontline during the battle of Bakara Market in Mogadishu on 28 July 2011.

On the morning of 28 July 2011, AMISOM forces pushed out from their defensive line and seized the area just below Bakara Market. Once the area was secured, the soldiers quickly set up new defensive positions to secure their gain from Al Shabaab counter attacks.

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Battle of Bakara Market 4
Mogadishu, Somalia
By Noe Falk Nielsen
28 Jul 2011

Urban warfare remains three-dimensional, with buildings and ruins providing numerous possibilities for cover and sniping positions. Here Ugandan soldiers scramble for cover as they come under fire during the battle of Bakara Market in Mogadishu.

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Battle of Bakara Market 5
Mogadishu, Somalia
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Jul 2011

An al-Shabab sniper fires at a Ugandan soldier as he crosses an open area on the frontline during the battle of Bakara Market in Mogadishu on 29 July 2011. Notice the bullet hitting the ground right behind the running soldier.

As AMISOM established a new frontline, Al Shabab was gathering forces and eventually launched a counter-attack.

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Battle of Bakara Market 6
Mogadishu, Somalia
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Jul 2011

Somali heavy weaponry on the frontline during the battle of Bakara Market in Mogadishu.

Although still in its infancy, the Somali National Armytook part in the offensive and fought alongside AMISOM. Despite being a lose federation of four Somali clans, and using outdated and improvised equipment, the Somali National Army proved affective.

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Battle of Bakara Market 7
Mogadishu, Somalia
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Jul 2011

A Ugandan T55 tank sits in the streets of Mogadishu during the battle of Bakara Market in Mogadishu.

AMISOM's superiority relied mostly on the fact that they could bring to bear superior firepower and in time tactics. The Ugandan T55 tank, designed around 1949, was the backbone of the AMISOM force and could provide close support to the infantry in the close quarter fighting in the narrow streets of Mogadishu.

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Battle of Bakara Market 8
Mogadishu, Somalia
By Noe Falk Nielsen
29 Jul 2011

Pushing up towards the Al Shabaab HQ located in the National Stadium AMISOM got involved in close quarter fighting in an area of two story buildings half a kilometer from the stadium. Receiving incoming fire from three sides and mortar shelling from the stadium, AMISOM fought back and established themselves in the buildings.