Multiple casualties are feared after Al-Shabaab terrorists launched an attack targeting a Somali national army base in the country’s south-central province of the Middle Shabelle region on Thursday, Anadolu Agency reports.
The attack took place in the newly liberated small town of Nur Dugle where Somali government forces and its allied clan militias are based.
The attack began with a car bomb blast, followed by heavy gunfire between the attackers and the national army soldiers.
Somali Defence Ministry said the country’s national army (SNA) and local forces “successfully” repulsed the attack.
“We swiftly staged a robust defence at Nur Dugle in Middle Shabelle, neutralising the threat. Our troops inflicted heavy casualties on the Khawarij (Al-Shabaab terrorists), ensuring the area remains secure,” the Ministry said in a short statement posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, after the attack.
Multiple sources told Anadolu over the phone the terrorist group attacked the town from three different directions and there were casualties among civilians.
The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabaab terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack.
Thursday’s attack is the second against the Somali national army in less than 15 days.
Late last month, the group launched a deadly attack on a Somali military base in Osweine village in the central state of Galmudug.
Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, has been visiting parts of the Middle Shabelle region.
The Horn of Africa country has been plagued by insecurity for years, with the main threats emanating from Al-Shabaab and the Daesh terror groups.
Since 2007, the Al-Shabaab terror group has been fighting the Somali government and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), a multi-dimensional mission authorised by the African Union and mandated by the United Nations Security Council.
The terror group has increased attacks since Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who was elected for a second term last year, declared an “all-out war” on Al-Shabaab.