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Al-Shabab militants: At least 61 killed in attack on Somali military base

By Ed Adamczyk
Troops of the Somali Army. The insurgent group al-Shabab said 61 Somalis soldiers died in an an attack on their base in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Amisom/African Union
Troops of the Somali Army. The insurgent group al-Shabab said 61 Somalis soldiers died in an an attack on their base in Somalia's semi-autonomous Puntland region on Thursday. Photo courtesy of Amisom/African Union

June 8 (UPI) -- A faction of the Islamic militant group al-Shabab announced it overran a Somali army base and killed at least 61 government soldiers. {link: The attack: "http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2017/06/08/524595/Somalia--alShabab-Puntland--Abdiasis-Abu-Musab" target="_blank"} in Puntland, a semi-autonomous region of Somalia, occurred at dawn Thursday. Weapons and sixteen vehicles were seized in the raid, a spokesman for Abdiasis Abu Musab, a division of al-Shabab's Takfiri faction, said.

Eyewitnesses told the BBC that Somali troops withdrew after about three hours of heavy fighting.

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Regional governor Yusuf Mohammad confirmed that the attack occurred, but did not offer casualty figures; local security official Ahmed Abdiweli said the Somali troops repelled the attack, adding that al-Shabab forces sustained heavy losses.

It is the latest assault by al-Shabab, which is linked to the Islamic terrorist organization al-Qaida, in Somalia. In January it attacked Kenyan soldiers, part of the 18,000-member coalition of African Union countries defending Somalia, at a base in Kolbiyow. It said that 50 Kenyan soldiers died in the raid.

The Takfiri group was forced from the capital, Mogadishu, by African Union troops in 2011, but maintained a presence in Somalia's rural area. It has increased bombings of the capital since a new government was organized there in February.

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