Somali National Army (SNA) said Monday its soldiers killed 87 al-Shabab militants during heavy fighting at a military base in Bar-Sanguni, about 50 km north of Kismayo in southern region.
Adam Isak, Deputy Information Minister of Somalia, said the militants launched an attack at the military base with suicide car bomb but were repulsed.
“Somali National Army killed 87 al-Shabab militants at Bar-Sanguni location this morning after the terrorists failed to ambush our army. The government forces are in full control of the base now,” Isak said.
SNA commander in the area Mukhtar Abdi Mohamed confirmed four government soldiers were killed and five others injured during the heavy fighting with al-Shabab fighters, while denying militants’ claims that they captured the base and killed 27 soldiers.
Independent sources say that some Jubaland and SNA soldiers who were wounded in the attack were hospitalized in hospitals in Kismayo town.
The militant group, which said it was behind the blast, frequently stages bomb and gun attacks in the capital and others in southern region in its bid to topple Somalia’s government, which is trying to rebuild the nation after two decades of conflict and chaos.
The latest deadly attack comes as African Union forces have started a conditions-based draw-down from the Horn of Africa nation.