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Al-Shabab militants attack Kenyan military base in Somalia

By Ed Adamczyk
Troops with the African Union said they repelled an al-Shabab attack on a Kenyan military base in Kolibiyow, Somalia, on Friday. Al-Shabab said it overtook the base. Photo courtesy of African Union/UNISOM
Troops with the African Union said they repelled an al-Shabab attack on a Kenyan military base in Kolibiyow, Somalia, on Friday. Al-Shabab said it overtook the base. Photo courtesy of African Union/UNISOM

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- Al-Shabab militants attacked a military base of Kenyan soldiers in Somalia on Friday, a Kenyan military spokesman said.

The militant Islamist group, affiliated with al-Qaida, announced that it captured the camp in Kolbiyow, near the Kenya-Somalia border, killed more than 50 soldiers and seized military vehicles and weapons in a dawn attack. A Somali military officer said al-Shabab forces drove two explosives-laden trucks into the camp; the trucks detonated prior to heavy shelling and additional explosions. Local residents said the 90-minute firefight ended with al-Shabab forces occupying the camp, Voice of America reported.

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A Kenyan military spokesman offered a different version of the battle, saying Kenyan troops fought back, did not lose control of the camp and killed an undetermined number of attackers.

Two days ago, Kenyan soldiers from the Kolbiyow camp attacked a nearby al-Shabab base.The soldiers are among 3,600 troops Kenya has provided to a coalition mission of the African Union to help Somalia's government fight al-Shabab.

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