MOGADISHU – At least 15 soldiers were declared dead after deadly shootings between Al-Shabaab militants and Somali soldiers on Friday, security sources in Somali have confirmed.
It is reported that the Al-Shabaab militants attacked the military base using car bombs and heavy machine guns in the early-morning hours on Friday.
Caught off-guard, soldiers at the base could not get any chance to regroup and fight back and were left with no choice but to flee their military base.
Al-Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, Abdiasis Abu Musab confirmed the incident adding that they also took 11 pick-up trucks mounted with heavy machine guns.
“The other soldiers ran helter-skelter into the woods. We now control the base and the village,” he added.
An Al-Shabaab officer declined claims that only 15 soldiers were killed saying the correct number is 21.
Captain Osman Ali told Reuters that a battalion of soldiers were involved in a fierce fighting leaving a few dead and many from both sides injured.
Somalia has been involved in a religious war since 1991 after clan-based warlords overthrew dictator Siad Barre before turning on each other.
The Al-Shabaab has been longing to enforce its own strict interpretation of Islam and has been attacking and occupying military bases and villages for over 25 years.