Al Shabaab rebels attack African Union peacekeepers in Somalia, high death toll feared
There was no immediate official confirmation of the casualties, and the group's estimates sometimes differ from those released by authorities
On Friday, Al Shabaab rebels attacked a military camp housing Ugandan personnel from the African Union peacekeeping operation in Somalia, according to a Somali captain, with both sides suffering serious fatalities.
The militants assaulted the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) post in Bulamarer, 130 kilometres (80 miles) southwest of Mogadishu.
“There was an attack this morning at our base… by elements of al Shabaab but we are waiting for official communication from ATMIS headquarters,” said Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF) deputy spokesman Deo Akiiki.
ATMIS has been aiding the federal government of Somalia in its fight against the Islamist organisation. The mission was examining the security situation, according to a tweet from the organisation.
In a statement, Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for suicide bombings that killed 137 troops.
There was no immediate official confirmation of the casualties, and the group’s estimates sometimes differ from those released by authorities.
The terrorists assaulted an ATMIS base and a nearby Somali military base, a Somali military commander named Abdullahi told Reuters from the Lower Shabelle region.
“That prompted a fierce battle for hours. All groups including al Shabaab suffered heavy casualties,” he said.
Residents of the town said they woke up to the sound of huge explosions and heavy weapons.
“Now we see al Shabaab in the town. We cannot know how many died. We are not hearing any shots from ATMIS and government now,” local resident Rukia Farah said.
Since 2006, the militant group has been fighting to topple the government and establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islamic law.
A government pushback since last year has seen the group’s control erode over vast swathes of land. But it is still capable of launching significant attacks on government, commercial and military targets.
Read all the Latest News, Trending News, Cricket News, Bollywood News,
India News and Entertainment News here. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Uganda heightens terror alert amid reports of 'Kenya mall' style attack
Uganda had already heightened security after at least 67 people were killed in an attack on a shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi claimed by the Somali militant group al Shabaab.
Somalia: 21 dead, 117 wounded in deadly Al-Shabaab attack in Mogadishu hotel
Jihadist terrorist group Al-Shabaab on Friday launched an attack on the famous Hayat hotel in Somalia's capital Mogadishu. The devastating siege lasted for 30 hours
Multiple people killed in hotel attack in Mogadishu by Islamist militants; Al-Shabaab claims responsibility
Several people were injured, and security forces rescued a large number of people, including children, from the scene of the attack at Mogadishu's Hayat Hotel