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Somalia's Puntland troops repel Al-Shabaab attack on military base

Puntland has been battling Al-Shabaab and ISIS for years without the the support of AMISOM [File photo].

BOSSASO, Puntland - Somalia-based Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabaab militants fired mortars at a military base in Puntland, in an incident that comes at the time the country is struggling with security arrangements and political crisis.

The militants confirmed that they launched a mortar shell attack in Af-Urur area at the outskirts of Bosaaso, the capital of the Bari region. This is the first time the militants were trying to run over a case in Puntland, a region in northeastern Somalia.

According to eyewitnesses, nearly 10 shells hit around the base, but casualties were unknown. The militants who often give rough estimates of the casualties did not publish either, but there are reports indicating that both sides may have suffered losses.

Puntland troops responded with artillery fire, forcing the militants to flee for their own safety, a number of sources also confirmed. The base is currently under the control of the Puntland Security Forces, which have been conducting operations against the militants.

It's quite rare for Al-Shabaab to carry out attacks in Puntland given the formidable security teams serving in the regional government. However, Al-Shabaab rivals, IS-Somalia have often carried out attacks, even though they have consistently lost to the regional troops.

The ISIS extremists occupy parts of the Golis mountains in Puntland but they too have previously suffered losses. Al-Shabaab controls large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia, but its influence is significantly dwindling.

Elsewhere, a grenade explosion wounded several people at a security checkpoint in Beledweyne city, central #Somalia tonight on Monday according to witnesses. No claim of responsibility so far, but the Al-Shabaab group is believed to have engineered the attack.


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