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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

Somalia confirms 20 'al-Shabaab' killed in military base attack

MOGADISHU Somalia (Xinhua) -- At least 20 Al-Shabaab militants were killed and several others injured early Sunday when the insurgents raided a military base in the outskirts of Somalia’s coastal city of Kismayo.

Ismail Sahardid with Somalia National Army (SNA) confirmed the attack at Buulo Guduud, some 30 kilometers north of Kismayo at dawn which caused casualties on both sides.

"Terrorists attacked our base in Buulo Guduud with suicide car bomb attacks, then fighting erupted causing casualties on both sides.

"We resisted the militants and killed 20 fighters during the operation, we are in control of the base now," Sahardid said.

He did not provide the number of casualties on the SNA side and denied that the militants seized some vehicles.

Al-Shabaab militants claimed victory over the deadly attack at Buulo Guduud base, saying its fighters killed 25 soldiers, recovered three vehicles and took large amount of ammunition from SNA store there.

It also said they captured Buulo Guduud.

Independent sources say that the casualties are more than told and 24 Jubaland State forces and government soldiers were hospitalized at the main general hospital in Kismayo town.

Witness said the military base is jointly operated by the the SNA and forces from the semi-autonomous Jubaland region of southern Somalia.

The militants have recently increased their attacks against the African Union and Somalia forces, especially in Mogadishu and southern Somalia, which has seen a surge of attacks that resulted in the loss of several strategic towns although the militants mainly held those towns briefly.

The AU and Somali forces have also increased airstrikes in southern Somalia in the recent past, resulting in the killing of several militants and some defections.
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EARLIER REPORT:

Al-Shabaab attacks military base in Somalia

by Abdi and Hashi MOGADISHU (Xinhua) -- Al-Shabaab militants attacked and took control of a military base on the outskirts of Somalia’s coastal city of Kismayu on Sunday, military officials said.

The fighters attacked the base in Buulo Guduud, some 30 kilometers north of Kismayu, at dawn and engaged the Somali troops in a fierce fighting.

A senior military officer, Ismail Sahardid, told journalists that the fierce fighting went on into daybreak, without giving number of casualties.

"At about 4.30 a.m. a suicide bomber rammed into the entrance of the military base in Buulo Guduud, then armed men penetrated camp where heavy gun battle erupted lasting for hours," said Sahardid.

Local residents also confirmed the attack, noting there was intense fighting in the military base forcing them to stay indoors.

The Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility through its media outlet, alleging that it had killed 26 soldiers in the camp.

Reports said the explosives-laden vehicle detonated at the entrance of the military base and then armed fighters engaged a fierce gunfight with Jubaland forces.

"Al-Shabaab militants seized control of Jubaland military camp but were overpowered," a witness said.

The witness said the military base is jointly operated by the Somali national army and forces from the semi-autonomous Jubaland region of southern Somalia.

The militants have recently increased their attacks against the Africa Union and Somali forces, especially in Mogadishu and southern Somalia, which have seen a surge of attacks that resulted in the loss of several strategic towns although the militants mainly held those towns briefly.

The AMISOM and Somali forces have also increased airstrikes in southern Somalia in the recent past, resulting in the killing of several militants and some defections.

             

 

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