A government military base in south Somalia was struck by car bombs and gunfire on Wednesday, residents and military officers said, with the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab group claiming responsibility and saying dozens of soldiers died.
One military officer said the bombs exploded outside the base after troops behind sandbags fired at them during the mid-morning attack in Awdheegle, an agricultural district along the Shabelle River, 70 km (43 miles) southwest of the capital Mogadishu.
“There are casualties from al Shabaab and government forces but we have no exact figure. Al Shabaab cut off some of the private telecommunications,” added Captain Hussein Ali, a military officer in another town in the same region.
Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it had killed 50 soldiers and two of its fighters had died.