Heavy fighting erupted on Monday in the Somali border town of Balad Hawo near Kenya after Al Shabaab detonated a suicide car bomb and then stormed the military base there, the spokesman of the al Qaeda-linked group told Reuters.
Al Shabaab, which wants to impose its strict interpretation of Islam in Somalia, has carried out frequent past attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere in its bid to topple the Western-backed government and drive out African Union peacekeeping troops.
Somalis observe bodies that were brought to and displayed in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia on August. 25.
Somalis observe bodies that were brought to and displayed in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia on August. 25. Photo: AP
“First, a mujahid with a car bomb rammed into the military base and then we stormed it,” the spokesman, Abdiasis Abu Musab, said.
The group also said 24 Somali soldiers were killed in the raid, but a Somali military official put the figure at around 10 dead soldiers.
“We were awoken by a suicide car bomb this morning and then fierce battle followed,” Major Mohamed Abdullahi told Reuters from the town. “We lost at least 10 soldiers. We chased al Shabaab out of the town. We killed seven militants.”