Al-Shabaab militants attacked a military base near capital Mogadishu Friday morning killing at least 12 Somali soldiers, a security official said.
Gen. Sheegow Ahmed Ali, a Somali military official, told state media that the militants rammed a car packed with explosives into the Barire military base, 50 kilometers southwest Mogadishu.
He said security forces had killed 18 al-Shabaab militants.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, al-Shabaab’s military operations spokesman, told media outlets they had killed 17 Somali soldiers and stolen seven military vehicles.
Residents, who spoke on condition of anonymity fearing their safety, said there was a heavy exchange of gunfire between government troops and Al-Shabaab militants.
Al-Shabaab, an offshoot of Al-Qaeda, has been driven out of Somalia’s major towns by a UN-mandated African Union force, but still controls large parts of southern Somalia.
Source: Anadolu agency