Somali forces battling attackers at Mogadishu military camp

The Al-Qaeda-linked armed group said its fighters are behind the attack on Halane base.

Al-Shabab fighter [Hamza Mohammed/Al Jazeera]
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack [File - Al Jazeera]

Somalia’s security forces are battling a “terrorist incident” at the gates of a military camp in the capital Mogadishu, state-run television said, with a witness saying attackers had forced their way in and begun shooting.

The al-Qaeda-linked armed group al-Shabab has said it was behind the attack at the camp near Mogadishu airport.

“There is gunfire inside the airport vicinity, and we are (hearing) this is an ongoing attack involving gunmen,” Mohamed Ali, who works for airport security, told AFP news agency. “We don’t have details so far but the security forces are engaging them now.”

The base hosts peacekeeping troops from the African Union, UN and other international organisations and is near the airport.

Workers at the airport also told news agencies that no flights are taking off and the movement of transport along the road inside the airport has been stopped.

The armed group’s Radio Andalus said in a broadcast that its fighters had attacked the Halane military base, and they were still shooting.

“Security forces are attending a terrorist incident at one of the main gates of Mogadishu’s Halane compound and police will give details shortly, officials confirmed to state media,” Somali National Television said on its Twitter account.

The witness at the compound said the attackers forced their way through the gate and started shooting.

“I saw a number of injured AMISOM (African Union) soldiers lying on the ground. We were walking away from the scene and two of my friends were injured near the DFS Hotel,” said Mahad Hirsi, a witness in Halane.

Source: News Agencies