Al Shabaab militants attacked an African Union (AU) base in Southern Somalia early on Tuesday, the Takfiri group and residents said, with unconfirmed reports that dozens of AU soldiers were killed.
The Al-Qaeda-aligned militants said one of their fighters rammed a car bomb into the base and then gunmen poured inside the facility run by the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, AMISOM, Reuters reported.
Al Shabaab said 50 African peacekeepers were killed in the attack on Janale base, about 90 km (55 miles) South of the capital, Mogadishu. In the past, the group has exaggerated the number of AU troops it has killed in attacks and officials have played down losses.
“Now Janale base of AMISOM is under our control,” Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, said.
AMISOM and government officials could not be reached for comment but nearby residents confirmed the attack.
“After morning prayers we heard a big explosion followed by heavy gunfire in the AMISOM base. We do not have further details as we are indoors,” resident Ahmed Olow said.