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Al-Shabaab claims takeover of AU base in Lower Shabelle

Friday May 26, 2023

Al-Shabaab spokesman Ali Dheere (Twitter account of Christopher Anzlaone, September 18, 2022)

Mogadishu (HOL) - Al-Shabaab militants launched an assault on an African Union peacekeeping military base early Friday morning. The base, situated in Bulo Marer, a town in the Lower Shabelle region, lies 110 kilometres south of Mogadishu.

Local sources have reported that the militants used multiple explosive devices to infiltrate the base. Witnesses also spotted al-Shabaab fighters inside the town. Currently, drones are surveying the area to assess the damage and casualty count, though specific figures remain unknown.

The media arm of al-Shabaab, an armed insurgent group affiliated with al-Qaeda, alleges that the militants successfully took control of the base. However, there hasn't been an independent verification of this claim.

So far, neither the Somali government nor the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) have issued public statements in response to the attack.

Last year, al-Shabaab launched an assault on an African Union base in the village of El-Baraf, approximately 150 kilometres north of Mogadishu. The attack resulted in at least 30 Burundian soldiers losing their lives and another 20 sustaining injuries. A Burundian official, speaking anonymously due to restrictions on interacting with the media, revealed that ten soldiers perished immediately, while the remaining succumbed to their injuries over time. Several soldiers are still reported missing. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack last May, asserting they killed 173 soldiers in an attack. However, the high casualty figure was never independently verified.


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