10 dead as al-Shabaab militants storm Somali army base

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10 dead as al-Shabaab militants storm Somali army base

By Mohammed Dhaysane

MOGADISHU, Somalia

At least 10 people, including eight soldiers, were killed and 15 others wounded when al-Shabaab militants stormed an army base in southwestern Somalia Monday, officials said.

“The militants attacked our base near Beled Hawo town. Eight soldiers and two civilians were killed in the attack,” Omar Gedi, a police officer in the town, told Anadolu Agency on phone.

He said al-Shabaab militants carried out a suicide car attack, after which a fierce battle between the heavily armed militants and soldiers broke out.

The militants had taken control over the base and the local administration’s headquarters, which included a police station and the mayor’s office, according to a military source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on talking to the media.

Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility for the attack and said it had killed more than 40 soldiers and seized 10 vehicles from the base.

The militants also claimed it had freed 35 inmates from the police station.

In another incident, at least three troops were killed in the country’s southern Middle Shabelle region after a landmine blast hit a military vehicle on Monday, said Ibrahim Ali, a police officer in the region’s capital Jowhar.

Separately, a car bomb blast on a busy road in Somali capital Mogadishu killed two civilians and wounded nine others, according to the police chief.