Somalia: Al Shabaab raids army base near Balad town
BALAD, Somalia - Al Shabaab militants attacked a military base near Somalia’s southern district city of Balad located in Middle Shabelle region early on Wednesday morning, Garowe Online reports.
The armed group claimed responsibility for the dawn attack on the army barrack and said at least 6 Somali soldiers had been killed in the incident and seized weapons and military arsenal.
In a statement posted on its affiliated websites, the militants said they took over the area, after overpowering the army soldiers during the gunfight, but that could not be confirmed by other sources.
A Somali military officer in the region confirmed to GO that the assault began after fighters ambushed government troops manning a checkpoint near Balad district, causing casualties on both warring sides.
Reports from Balad indicate that a small number of soldiers who have been in control of the base vacated their positions, and fled to nearby villages soon after the Al Shabaab attack began.
Al Shabaab intensified raids against Somali National Army (SNA) and AMISOM in the south of the horn of Africa country in the past few months, in a bid to oust to the UN-backed government in Mogadishu.