Sunday, 08 December, 2019

Al-Shabab claims killing 61 in attack on base in Somalia

Al-Shabab claims killing 61 in attack on base in Somalia Al-Shabab claims killing 61 in attack on base in Somalia
Christy Curtis | 09 June, 2017, 03:31

Al-Shabaab militants captured a town in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Thursday, a senior official said.

Officials called it the region's deadliest attack in years, highlighting the twin challenges facing security forces from the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab and the growing presence of fighters linked to the Islamic State group.

In a new conference, Puntland Security Minister Abdi Hirsi Ali denied the high death toll but did not give an exact number of casualties on their side. One witness, Abdibasit Hassan, said women were among those beheaded.

Puntland commander of Darawish forces in Sanaag region, Col. Abdullahi Omar Anshur, told reporters it was a major attack.

Attacks are comparatively rare in Puntland, where the security forces are relatively regularly paid and receive substantial US assistance. It fighters have attacked and captured the town several times.

Af Urur lies about 100 km (60 miles) south of Bosaso, near the Galgala hills, an area controlled by al Shabaab.

Al Shabab said it had killed 61 soldiers after overrunning the military base.

Identities of two London Bridge attackers revealed
Security sources in Dublin said one of the terrorists was carrying an identity card issued in Ireland when he was shot dead. She said he told her he was "ready in the name of Allah to do what needs to be done, including killing my own mother".

Al-Shabab claimed killing at least 61 soldiers and also seized a large amount of weapons and ammunition and more than a dozen military vehicles in the assault.

Liban Mohamed, a nurse at the hospital in nearby Armo town, said at least 40 wounded soldiers had been brought there after the attack.

Al-Shabaab is a terrorist group based in East Africa that pledged its allegiance with the al-Qaeda.

The prospect of a security vacuum has concerned the global community.

"The number could rise since the operation is still underway", Abdiasis AMusab, Al-Shabaab's military spokesman said in a statement.

In the the latest attack, the militants withdrew after more than three hours of fighting with government forces, residents told the BBC.

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