MOGADISHU, SOMALIA: Heavily armed Al Shabaab militants have attacked an African Union mission troop camp in the Shabelle region in the center of the country, causing casualties, a local military commander and witnesses said.
Tuesday’s pre-dawn raid targeted a camp housing Burundian troops near Ceel Baraf village about 160 kilometres northeast of the capital Mogadishu, the sources said.
“The terrorists attacked the Burundian army base outside Ceel Baraf early this morning, there was heavy fighting and casualties inflicted on both sides, but we don’t have more details about this incident so far,” local military commander Mohamed Ali told AFP news agency by phone.
“They launched the attack with a car bomb blast before a heavy exchange of gunfire broke out,” he added.
Al-Shabaab, which has been fighting for years to topple the central government and establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islam’s sharia law, claimed responsibility for the attack.
“The Mujahideen launched a pre-dawn raid on an ATMIS (African Union Mission) military base in el-Baraf, middle Shabelle region,” al-Shabaab said in a statement. Adding; “After a fierce firefight, the Mujahideen managed to overrun the base and are now in complete control of the entire military base.”
Al-Shabaab frequently carries out bombings and gun attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere as part of its war against the Horn of Africa country’s central government.
It also attacks soldiers working for the African Union peacekeeping mission.
Officials in Shabelle and the African Union mission were not immediately available to comment on the attack.
Do you have a story in your community or an opinion to share? Email us on: firstname.lastname@example.org Or Click Here join the Daily Express WhatsApp Group or join our Telegram Channel here to stay up-to-date.