Somalia’s Al Shabaab Attacks Military Base, Captures Central Town
By Staff, Agencies
Al Shabaab militants stormed a military base in the center of Somalia on Tuesday and took over a nearby town, eyewitnesses reported.
Residents of Amara in the Galmudug region said the attack started in the morning with al Shabaab fighters setting off a suicide bomb, targeting government special force units, known as Danab and Darawish.
Amara is a strategic town which lies on the way to the coastal town of Harardheere, another al Shabaab stronghold. Harardheere was once a pirate base at the height of hijackings of merchant ships in 2011.
"Al Shabaab militants have launched an attack on a government base in the town of Amara this morning the government forces, especially the Danab and the Darawish of Galmudug, withdrew from the area and al Shabaab took control of the area," Farah Osman, a resident of Amara, told Reuters by phone.
A second resident confirmed the attack.
"Al Shabaab attacked a military base in Amara and took control of the town and captured 11 armored vehicles and burned seven others they took photo from captured cars," Ismail Nur, a resident of Amara, said.
The residents did not give any details on casualties.
Al Shabaab's Radio Andalus said in a broadcast the group was behind the attack and capture of the town, adding it had seized 14 cars and 10 gun-mounted pick-up trucks.
Officials of Galmudug region were not immediately reachable to comment, nor were spokespeople for al Shabaab.
Earlier this month, government and Galmudug regional forces took control of Amara, which has been under al Shabaab control for the last 10 years.
Their joint operations also liberated several towns from al Shabaab, including Baadweyn, and other villages in the region.