Al Shabaab at­tacks base near Kis­mayu

State ra­dio said base was at­tacked but ca­su­al­ties were not yet known

The Star (Kenya) - - News | World -

REUTERS/ Al Shabaab mil­i­tants at­tacked a mil­i­tary base near So­ma­lia’s south­ern port city of Kis­mayu early yes­ter­day, a So­mali army of­fi­cer said, adding that he did not im­me­di­ately have de­tails of any ca­su­al­ties.

Al Shabaab claimed re­spon­si­bil­ity for the at­tack and said 26 So­mali sol­diers had been killed in the in­ci­dent, but that could not be con­firmed by other sources.

“We un­der­stand al Shabaab at­tacked the base and fierce fight­ing and a blast oc­curred, but still we have no de­tails,” Mo­hamed Isa, a mil­i­tary offi- cer, told Reuters from Kis­mayu.

The at­tack was on a base in the vil­lage of Bala Gudud, near Kis­mayu.

State ra­dio also re­ported the base had been at­tacked but said ca­su­al­ties were not yet known.

CA­SU­AL­TIES UN­KNOWN

The base is jointly op­er­ated by the So­mali na­tional army and forces from the semi-au­tonomous Jub­ba­land re­gion of south­ern So­ma­lia, the state ra­dio re­ported.

Res­i­dents in Bala Gudud said a blast was heard and an ex­change of gun­fire broke out shortly af­ter the first Mus­lim prayer of the day.

Ab­di­a­sis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s mil­i­tary spokesman, told Reuters, “This morn­ing, we stormed the Juba­land base near Bula Gudud. We killed 26 sol­diers and burnt two cars.”

The mil­i­tants left the base af­ter tak­ing weapons, am­mu­ni­tion and sev­eral ve­hi­cles, he added.

Al Shabaab is linked to al Qaeda and wants to im­pose strict Is­lamic law in So­ma­lia.

The group rou­tinely ex­ag­ger­ates ca­su­alty fig­ures.

Former al Shabaab leader Mukhtar Robow Abu Mansur ar­rives for a news con­fer­ence in Mo­gadishu, So­ma­lia, on Au­gust 15

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