More than 10 soldiers were killed and several others wounded when militants of Al-Qaeda and Al-Shabaab stormed a military base in Southern Somalia on Sunday, security sources said.
The militants reportedly drove a truckload of explosives to the base main entrance in Bulogadud, about 70 kilometres (40 miles) from the port town of Kismayo and attacked the soldiers.
“There was an attack on the military base in Bulogadud this morning… the initial information indicates that more than 10 soldiers were killed,” Abdulahi Mohamed, a senior security official, said on phone.
“There was a car bomb blast and gunfire followed. The forces retreated from the base initially but they later regained control,” he added.
Sources in a nearby village said the militants temporarily took control of the camp and the village.
“Some people in Bulogadud told us the militants looted the camp … they burned down everything and left,” Ahmed Mohamud, a resident said.
Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack.
“The Mujahedeen fighters took control of Bulogadud, there were many enemy deaths and three technical vehicles were looted,” a brief statement on a pro-Shabaab website said, citing the group’s Andalus radio.
The Shabaab have sworn to overthrow Somalia’s fragile government, which is kept in place with international support.
The Shabaab force was pushed out of the capital in August 2011 and lost most of its other bastions in Somalia.
But they still control vast swathes of countryside, from where they launch guerilla operations and suicide attacks, against the capital and against local and international military bases.
- Bola Kougbe