[QODLink]
Africa

Somali army attacks al-Shabab base

Heavy clashes erupt after government soldiers attack base used by anti-government group near Kenyan border.

Last Modified: 02 Nov 2013 12:20
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Al-Shabab denied a claim by the Kenyan military that 30 fighters had been killed [Al Jazeera]

Somali government soldiers, backed by African Union peacekeepers, have clashed with al-Shabab fighters on the outskirts of Kolbiyo, a town in lower Jubba province near the Kenya-Somalia border.

About 80 government soldiers on pick-up trucks attacked the group's bases 10km from the town on Saturday, an al-Shabab spokesman told Al Jazeera.

The early-morning attack lasted for more than an hour, he said.

The Kenyan military said dozens of fighters from the anti-government group was killed in the ensuing clashes.

"Somali National Army kill over 30 al shabaab in Kolbio, close to Kenya border," spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir said on his Twitter account.

But al-Shabab denied the claim.

"We have not lost a single fighter. We killed four apostate soldiers and critically injured their colonel who was leading their attack," the group's spokesman told Al Jazeera.

Previous attacks

The al-Shabab base that the government soldiers attacked is close to Kolbiyo and not far from Badhadhe. Both towns have been scenes of recent attacks by the group fighting the UN-backed Somali government.

The base is also thought to be used by al-Shabab to carry out cross-border attacks in Kenya.

The Kenya Defence Forces said on Thursday that they had destroyed a training camp used by members of al-Shabab who attacked the Westgate Mall on September 21.

The camp had more than 300 fighters, many of whom are believed to have been killed or injured, the KDF said in a statement.

But al-Shabab denied the report. "Not true. This week we killed 12 soldiers from Sierra Leone and 5 from Kenya in the Jubba region alone." the al-shabab spokesman said.

Follow Hamza Mohamed on Twitter: hamza_africa

262

Source:
Al Jazeera
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.