The al-Shabab assault comes amid a protracted political disaster in Somalia and a drought disaster within the Horn of Africa.
The armed group al-Shabab has attacked an African Union mission troop camp within the Shabelle area in central Somalia, an area elder and the group have stated.
“We have been awoken by large blasts early within the morning. The blasts have been on the African Union mission base. Heavy trade of gunfire adopted,” native elder Mohamed Nur informed the Reuters information company on Tuesday by telephone from El Baraf, about 130km (80 miles) to the north of the capital, Mogadishu.
One other resident, who lives in a village close to the scene, stated three civilians had died within the crossfire. He additionally stated he noticed two helicopters flying by and gunfire coming from them.
Al-Shabab, which has been preventing for years to topple the central authorities and set up its personal rule based mostly on its strict interpretation of Islamic regulation, claimed duty for the assault.
“The Mujahideen launched a pre-dawn raid on an ATMIS [African Union Mission] navy base in El Baraf, center Shabelle area,” al-Shabab stated in an announcement.
“After a fierce firefight, the Mujahideen managed to overrun the bottom and are actually in full management of the complete navy base.”
Farah Hussein, a shopkeeper, informed Reuters from El Baraf that after the preliminary assault, helicopters have been seen flying above the scene.
“We heard some gunshots and sounds of weapons being fired from the helicopters,” he stated by telephone.
“The ATMIS forces are additionally within the jungles pursuing the al-Shabab fighters. To this point we all know three civilians died and 5 others have been injured within the preventing.”
Officers in Shabelle and the African Union mission weren’t instantly accessible to touch upon the assault.
Al-Shabab steadily carries out bombings and gun assaults in Mogadishu and elsewhere as a part of its conflict in opposition to the Horn of Africa nation’s central authorities.
It additionally assaults troopers working for the African Union peacekeeping mission.