It is difficult discerning fact from fiction in wartime, especially in Somalia, where the al-Qaida-tied al-Shabaab has been battling the internationally-recognized Transitional Federal Government (TFG) and African Union (AU) forces for control of the country.
Through that lens came word Tuesday that the AU's peacekeeping force AMISOM had defeated al-Shabaab in the capital city Mogadishu.
"We have managed to beat them off," AMISOM commander Maj. General Fred Mugisha, told CNN. "Almost 100% of Mogadishu is in the hands of AMISOM and [the] TFG Government."
Someone should have let al-Shabaab in on the news.
Less than a few hours after the AMISOM forces claimed victory, the terrorist group claimed credit for killing five AU soldiers near one of Mogadishu's markets.
For followers of Somalia, it seems like déjà vu all over again.
Less than five months ago, AMISOM, reportedly secured control over much of Mogadishu after forcing al-Shabaab to retreat. "We have been dreaming of this day for the last three years," Somalia's Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali told reporters.
But in the wake of this optimism, attacks by the "defeated" group continued in the Somali capital.
Elsewhere in Southern Somalia, Kenyan military forces, acting in coordination with the TFG and in apparent retaliation for al-Shabaab attacks and kidnappings in Kenya, crossed the border and began engaging the terrorist group. The operation, codenamed Linda Nchi, generated a number of casualties on both sides.
Perhaps more important in this conflict, is who is more effectively controlling the message. In early December, both al-Shabaab and Kenyan military representatives took to the microblogging site Twitter to launch attacks and taunts against the other.
Now, more than ever, it's hard to know who actually is winning versus baseless propaganda.