Somalia Army Battles Al-Shabaab West of Capital; Dozens Killed

Al-Shabaab militants attacked a Somali army base west of the capital, leading to clashes in which a resident and the al-Qaeda-linked group said dozens of people were killed.

Islamist fighters stormed the camp in Lanta Buro town, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Mogadishu, in violence that involved heavy machine-gun fire, resident Ahmed Aden said by phone. He said he’d counted dozens of bodies around the base. Radio Andalus, a broadcaster that supports the insurgents, said al-Shabaab had killed at least 73 government soldiers.

Isse Ali, a Somali army officer, said by phone that troops quickly repulsed the raid. He said al-Shabaab had suffered heavy losses, declining to comment on any casualties on his own side.

Al-Shabaab has been waging an insurgency in Somalia since 2006. The Somali army receives support from the African Union Mission in Somalia, or Amisom, which includes Ugandan, Kenyan, Ethiopian and Djiboutian troops. Those forces recaptured Lanta Buro, which the Islamist militants has been using as a training base, in 2012.

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