Mogadishu – Abdifatah Hagi, Deputy Governor of the Lower Shebelle Region, said Al-Shabaab on Tuesday captured an African Union military base in Somalia.
A senior military commander also said hundreds of militants attacked the base in Janaale, 75 kilometres south of Mogadishu in Lower Shebelle, at dawn.
He said on condition of anonymity that the situation was “chaotic” and “many people” appeared to have been killed.
Ahmed Hagi, a witness who entered the base said the attack started with a suicide car bombing.
He said the car rammed into the entrance of the military base and exploded.
“I saw 20 dead AU soldiers. and several other wounded soldiers were captured by al-Shabaab.
Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu-Mus’ab, Spokesman for al-Shabaab group, claimed on pro-insurgent radio Andalus, that more than 80 AU soldiers were killed, while others threw themselves into a nearby river.
The African Union has more than 20,000 peacekeepers in Somalia to help the government fight al-Shabaab.
More than 60 Burundian AU soldiers were killed in an al-Shabaab attack on a military base in June.