Islamist militants attack African Union base in south Somalia

September 1, 2015 08:39

MOGADISHU - Al Shabaab militants attacked an African Union (AU) base in southern Somalia early on Tuesday, the Islamist group and residents said, with unconfirmed reports that dozens of AU soldiers were killed.

The al Qaeda-aligned militants said one of their fighters rammed a car bomb into the base and then gunmen poured inside the facility run by the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, AMISOM.

Al Shabaab said 50 African peacekeepers were killed in the attack on Janale base, about 90 km (55 miles) south of the capital, Mogadishu. In the past, the group has exaggerated the number of AU troops it has killed in attacks and officials have played down losses.

"Now Janale base of AMISOM is under our control," Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters.

AMISOM and government officials could not be reached for comment but nearby residents confirmed the attack.

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