Somalia: Al-Shabab kills AU soldiers in bomb attack

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia - Al-Shabab, the Al Qaeda-linked Islamist group, claimed it killed two Burundian peacekeepers and injured 15 others in an attack on a convoy in southern Somalia on Tuesday, Garowe Online reports.

The soldiers, serving with the AU Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] died after a vehicle they were travelling in ran over an improvised explosive device (IED) on the outskirt of Bal'ad city, about 30 kilometres north of Mogadishu.

The convoy was ferrying AMISOM reinforcement forces dispatched to the area to assist Somali military troops after encountering a bomb and gun attack by the extremists on Monday which left at least two soldiers dead.

The sources added that the Somali government forces engaged in a bitter gun battle with Al-Shabaab attackers, which inflicted heavy casualties on both sides. Local residents said they heard huge blast followed by gunfire.

The Burundian troops are in Somalia as part of 20,000 soldiers from Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti who were deployed to help counter Al-Shabaab, which has been waging a rebellion for almost a decade in the country.

Earlier this month, Al-Shabaab has killed two members of HirShabelle parliament, their bodyguards and a local official in an ambush in the same vicinity on Bal'ad-Jowhar road in Middle Shabelle region in southern Somalia.

Despite losing control of large swathes of territory in the south and central regions, the militant group still capable of carrying out sporadic deadly attacks against Somali forces and their allied AU and U.S. troops.