Somalia: Al-Shabab attacks African Union base

A military boot is seen at the scene of a suicide car bomb attack by al Shabaab in Somalia's capital Mogadishu

The group said that 14 of its fighters were killed during the attack on the African Union base, according to Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Musab, the group's military spokesman.

It is unclear exactly how many people died in the attack but both sides say many people died as AU and Somali troops defended the base.

Sunday's attack, which began with two suicide auto bombings at the entrance to the heavily fortified Bulo-Marer base in Lower Shabelle, also left four other Ugandans injured while 22 of the attackers were killed and the rest repelled.

Al Shabaab insurgents in file picture.

Local sources said a massive blast was heard in the Bulomarer district, around 150 kilometres (93 miles) south of Mogadishu, and fighting broke out after dozens of heavily armed Shabaab militants stormed the base. "Our fighters also attacked five other bases", Mus'ab was quoted by Al-Jazeera as saying.




He said the militant attack was launched in retaliation for a raid by AU forces on militant positions the day before. "They underestimated our alertness but it was bloody for them". "They were repulsed, but all these attacks were to stop reinforcement".

"His Excellency has congratulated us for the fierce fight against the enemy", he said.

Eight vehicles which ferried the terrorists, including two Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices were destroyed and an assortment of weapons recovered.

The African Union plans to gradually withdraw its troops from the country and to hand over security operations to the Somali Army by 2020.

The militants often ambush military convoys and attack army outposts. The UPDF asked the United Nations to reconsider its plan of troop withdrawal, saying the timing is unrealistic and could reverse the military and peace gains so far achieved in Somalia since the first deployment in 2007.

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