By Mohammed Dhaysane
MOGADISHU, Somalia (AA) - At least eight government soldiers were killed and several others wounded when fighters from Somali-based al-Qaeda-linked group al-Shabaab attacked Somali National Army (SNA) base in Lower Shabelle region, officials said on Sunday.
The attack took place at SNA base in the vicinity of El-Saliini, near the port city of Marka, the capital of Lower Shabelle region on Sunday morning.
Adow Moalim Mohamed, Somali National Army captain, told Anadolu Agency over the phone that al-Shabaab attacked the army base in El-Saliini, killing 8 soldiers and wounding several others.
“Gunmen from al-Shabaab terrorist group al-Shabaab attacked our base and then exchange of heavy fire between our forces and the group erupted. On our side, 8 soldiers were killed but we also killed more fighters”, Mohamed said.
Ibrahim Adan Najah, Lower Shabelle governor, and the Somali National Army command confirmed the attack and said the army repulsed al-Shabaab attack but didn’t say anything about the casualties.
Villagers in the area told Anadolu Agency over the phone in a condition of anonymity that the base is under al-Shabaab hands after the fierce fighting.
Al-Qaeda affiliated group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the deadly attack and said they killed more government soldiers and seized 6 armored vehicles from the base.