Al-Shabab fighters stormed an African Union military base in the village of El-Baraf in Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region early Tuesday, local officials and security sources say.
Officials told VOA Somali that the militants briefly seized the base before withdrawing from it. State media said Burundian solders at the base repulsed the attack.
The Mayor of El-Baraf, Abdullahi Haji Muhumed, said the militants started their attack with two suicide truck bombs.
He said the militants then fought their way onto the base.
Al-Shabab claimed the killing of 173 African Union forces. The group also claimed responsibility for capturing AU forces as prisoners-of-war. Both claims could not be independently verified.
AU force headquarters and Somali military officials could not be immediately reached for comment.