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Somalia:Somali militants attack army base in Mogadishu

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Laaska News Oct. 29,2011
MOGADISHU, 29 (Xinhua) — Fighters from the Al Shabaab group on Saturday carried out coordinated attack against military base of the African Union peacekeeping troops and Somali government forces, AU and Somali officials said.

The attack was launched against one of the bases of the African Union peacekeeping troops and Somali government forces in the newly taken areas in the west of the Somali capital Mogadishu by fighters from the Al Shabaab movement.

“The base was attacked by gunmen from the anti-peace elements of Al Shabaab,” spokesman for AU peacekeepers, Paddy Akunda, told Xinhua without disclosing information about casualties in the attack.

Somali government military commander who asked for anonymity said the heavily armed fighters launched their assault from different directions and some of them managed to enter the base of the peacekeepers.

The group of Al Shabaab have claimed to have overrun the Hero Jarmal base in the west of Mogadishu, adding that they have killed a number of AU peacekeepers and Somali government forces at the base.

Heavy gunfire was heard from the base on the outskirts of the Somali capital Mogadishu where Somali government troops have also a main checkpoint.

The Al Shabaab forces have been driven out of most of Mogadishu early in August but the group vowed to launch suicide attacks against government and AU peacekeeper’s targets.

Officials from the Al Shabaab militants have told websites that a number of suicide bombers were among the attackers on the AU peacekeepers base in Mogadishu.

The group’s fighters have carried out a number of suicide car bomb attacks against Somali government targets in Mogadishu since their withdrawal from Mogadishu in August.

Somali has not had an effective central government as the horn of African country has been embroiled in civil strife since the ouster of the late Somali ruler Mohamed Siyad Barre in 1991.

The internationally recognized but weak Somali government control parts of the capital Mogadishu and other areas in the south of the country while the insurgents run much of the south and center of Somalia.

The AU forces which were deployed in 2007 now boost the capability of around 9,000 troops. Under their support, there has been already over 95 percent of the Somalia’s capital Mogadishu under the control of the Transitional Federal Government.

Meanwhile, Al Shabaab is currently facing new front from allied Kenya and Somali troops fighting the militants in the southern regions along the two countries’ common border.

Kenya launched its offensive on the Al Shabaab on Oct. 16 following a string of cross border raids in which four foreigners were abducted, an act blamed on Somalia’s insurgents.

Xinhua.

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Laaska News.
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