Somalia: Al-Shabab kills soldiers in attack on military base
BAL'AD, Somalia - Al-Shabab fighters attacked a remote Somali army base north of the capital Mogadishu on Sunday, killing at least two Somali government soldiers, Garowe Online reports.
Officials and the militants said, Al-Shabab briefly seized control of Elka Geele, a small but strategic town in Middle Shabelle region, located approximately 50 Kilometers north of Mogadishu after overrunning army barracks.
The Islamist group, which has launched several attacks there in the last few months, said it had seized control of the entire town during a massive assault.
A military source tells GO that Somali forces engaged a heavy gun battle with the attackers before retreating to a nearby area for a tactical move. It remained unclear how many Al-Shabab fighters, died in the gunfight.
Somali government forces have regained control of a town later in the evening after the militants left their bases, resident, who asked to remain anonymous, told GO over the phone.
The Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Shabab has been driven out of a vast ground in South since 2011, however, it still carries out frequent attacks on security and government targets, as well as civilians.
The group is fighting to topple the Western-backed Somali Federal Government in Mogadishu which is protected by 22,000 African Union peacekeepers from Uganda, Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya.