Five soldiers and 21 Al Shabab militants have been reported killed after the terror group launched an attack on a military facility north of Somalia’s capital, according to officials.
Officials said Somalian troops repelled the assault on Tuesday leading to high casualties among the attackers.
The group has claimed responsibility for the attack at the Hawaadley military facility in Xawaadley village in the Middle Shabelle region, 75 kilometres north of Mogadishu.
Somalia’s Chief of Defense Forces General Odawa Yusuf Rage said that the attackers were “repulsed by the brave Somali soldiers who were on high alert.”
A senior military official, Colonel Abshir Shataqey, was among those killed in the attack, Rage said.
Somalia recaptures key port from Al Shabab
Abdi Hassan, a soldier who was at the military camp, told The Associated Press that 12 soldiers were wounded.
He said that the military had prior intelligence about the attackers, including their vehicle license plates.
Hassan said the morning attack started with a suicide car bombing at the camp’s entrance, and then two other suicide bombs exploded within the camp before a gunbattle ensued.
Somalia’s government is leading what is being described as the most significant offensive against Al Shabab in more than a decade.
On Monday, the government reported that it had recaptured a key port held by Al Shabab for a decade.
The group has responded to the military pressure with a series of high-profile attacks in Mogadishu and other cities, including car bombs earlier this month that killed at least 35 people.
The group has over the years held back the nation’s recovery from decades of conflict by carrying out brazen attacks in Mogadishu, and elsewhere.
The insurgency left more than 200,000 Somalis suffering catastrophic food shortages and some parts of central Somalia on the brink of famine.