Dozens killed as Al Shabaab seized Mokoqori town

MOGADISHU, Somalia – Somali Islamist group Al Shabaab fighters launched deadly attacks on militay bases, triggering fierce clashing between the militants and government forces in Mokoqori town.

The fighting flared up when heavily armed fighters attacked army bases manned by Somali military forces in the town, a witness, Hassan Mohamed said.

Mohamed says the Al Shabaab fighters had captured the Mokoqori town following hours of fighting, adding that the government soldiers retreated to Buloburde town.

Somali-based group Al Shabaab claimed to have taken control of the town, after heavy fighting with government soldiers.

The group says nearly 70 soldiers had been killed in the clash, adding that 47 others were also taken alive during the gun fight in the town of Mokoqori.

“We have also taken away 5 military vehicles”, the group said through its website.

There was no immediate comment from Somali military over the claims made by Al Shabaab.

By Abdirisak Mohamud Tuuryare from Mogadishu, Somalia

Abdi Aziz Hassan Ibrahim is , a somali veteran journalist based in the Somali capital, Mogadishu. Twitter @mareegonline Email: