Casualties are feared in northern Somalia after al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group al-Shabaab launched predawn attacks Wednesday against an army base, local officials told Anadolu.
Heavy gunfire was exchanged during the multi-pronged strike on an army camp in northern Mudug province, a military official in the central state of Galmudug said on condition of anonymity due restrictions on speaking to the media.
The attack on the camp, located in the newly liberated village of Caad, was repelled, though “both sides” had suffered multiple casualties, the official said without elaborating on how many soldiers were killed.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and said it had overrun five military bases in and around Caad district and seized military vehicles.
The group in a propaganda statement said after the attack that it attacked bases housing 1,350 army soldiers and killed over 191 soldiers.
The Somali National News Agency (SONNA) reported that the army, backed by locals, thwarted the al-Shabaab attack, inflicting “heavy losses on terrorists.”
Somalia has been plagued by insecurity for years, with the main threats emanating from al-Shabaab and the Daesh/ISIS terror groups.
Since 2007, al-Shabaab terror group has been fighting the Somali government and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), a multidimensional mission authorized by the African Union and mandated by the United Nations Security Council.
The terror group has stepped up attacks since the Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was elected for a second term in May 2022, declared an “all-out war” on al-Shabaab.