Heavy fighting has erupted in the Somali border town of Balad Hawo near Kenya after al-Shabaab detonated a car bomb then stormed the military base there, the spokesman of the al Qaeda-linked group told Reuters.
Al-Shabaab, which wants to impose its strict interpretation of Islam in Somalia, has carried out frequent past attacks in Mogadishu and elsewhere in its bid to topple the Western-backed government and drive out African Union peacekeeping troops.
“First, a mujahid with a car bomb rammed into the military base and then we stormed it,” spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab said on Monday.
“We were awoken by a suicide car bomb this morning and then fierce battle followed,” Major Mohamed Abdullahi told Reuters.
“We lost at least 10 soldiers. We chased al-Shabaab out of the town. We killed seven militants.”
The death toll on both sides could still rise.