Somali Fighters Kill at Least Five Soldiers in Army Base Attack

Al-Qaeda-linked fighters killed at least five soldiers and injured eight others in an attack on a Somalia military base near southcentral Baidoa, according to army officer Mohamed Isaq and pro-al-Shabaab Radio Andalus.

Islamist militants armed with automatic weapons and rocket-propelled grenades last night raided the Iskudarka base, located about 250 kilometers (155 miles) northwest of the capital, Mogadishu, Isaq said by phone today.

“Our forces repulsed rebel attacks but unfortunately five soldiers were killed during the ambush,” he said.

Al-Shabaab seized control of the camp, took arms and supplies and killed eight soldiers before leaving, Radio Andalus reported. Abdullahi Mohamed Aden, a director at the main hospital in Baido, said in an interview that eight government soldiers were killed.

Al-Shabaab has waged an insurgency since 2006 to topple the government in Somalia and establish Shariah, or Islamic law. The group’s intelligence chief, Abdishakur Tahliil, was killed in a U.S. drone strike in southern Somalia on Dec. 29, according to the U.S. government. The U.S. declared the militia a terrorist organization in 2008.

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