Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 19 October 2019

Al Shabab claims attacks on EU convoy and US base in Somalia

No injuries have been reported so far in the two raids

A member of the Italian military stands next to a damaged armored personnel carrier after an attack on a European Union military convoy in Mogadishu. AP
A member of the Italian military stands next to a damaged armored personnel carrier after an attack on a European Union military convoy in Mogadishu. AP

Somali militant group Al Shabab claimed separate attacks on a US military base and an EU convoy in the East African country on Monday.

A bomb attack in the morning was followed by small arms fire at a base operated by US special forces in the Somali town of Baledogle.

"In the early hours of Monday morning, an elite unit of soldiers from Harakat Al Shabab Al Mujahideen's Martyrdom Brigade launched a daring raid on the US military base," Al Shabab said.

"After breaching the perimeters of the heavily fortified base, the mujahideen stormed the military complex, engaging the crusaders in an intense firefight."

The Baledogle base is in the Lower Shabelle region, about 100 kilometres west of the capital Mogadishu.

It is a major launching site for US drone operations against Al Shabab, which controls large parts of Somalia, and is linked to Al Qaeda and ISIS.

A security official said EU advisers training the Somali National Army were attacked by a car bomb in Mogadishu.

"There was a car bomb targeting the EU military advisers along the industrial road," said Omar Abikar, a Somali security officer.

"A vehicle loaded with explosive was rammed on to one of the convoy vehicles and there are casualties."

The vehicle had been bearing a small Italian flag sticker.

Italy's Defence Ministry said that an Italian convoy had been hit by an explosion and that no injuries had been reported so far.

The attacks are the latest in a long line of bombing and assaults claimed by Al Shabab.

The extremists were driven out of Mogadishu by government forces backed by 20,000 African Union peacekeepers in 2011 but they still carry out attacks including suicide bombings against government targets.

Updated: October 1, 2019 02:39 AM

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