Al Shabaab fighters overrun Somali town, kill 20 soldiers

  • Al Shabaab fighters overrun Somali town, kill 20 soldiers

Al Shabaab fighters overrun Somali town, kill 20 soldiers

Additionally, al-Shabaab seized control of the weapons and ammunition stored in the base, while burning battle wagons belonging to Puntland security forces.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, a Somali-American who was elected in February, has repeatedly said al-Shabab can be defeated within two years, but he warns that could take much longer without a better-equipped national military.

Last month it claimed its first suicide bombing, killing at least five people in the port town of Bossaso.

Attacks are comparatively rare in Puntland, where the security forces are relatively regularly paid and receive substantial USA assistance. There were few soldiers there and thus al Shabaab captured the town. "It is hard to know the casualties because the telecommunications were cut off", he said.

Puntland military retook the town, which Bari region Governor Yusuf Mohamed told Reuters earlier on Thursday had been attacked by the al Shabaab fighters.

"Shabab militants attacked the Puntland military base near Galgala".

A local security official said that the militants had also suffered heavy casualties and lost many of their fighters.

"The fighting in Af-Urur was very intense this morning".

Liban Mohamed, a nurse at the hospital in nearby Armo town, said at least 40 wounded soldiers had been brought there after the attack.

In the the latest attack, the militants withdrew after more than three hours of fighting with government forces, residents told the BBC.

Al Shabaab regularly launches attacks in Somalia, but tends to focus on the capital Mogadishu and other regions controlled by the federal government.