MOGADISHU – Heavily armed Al Shabaab fighters launched an ambush attack on bases controlling by Jubaland troops, along with Kenyan forces serving under African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.
Tuesday’s fighting erupted in Bilis Qooqaani near Bilis Afmadow town, some 70km away from Somali-Kenyan border, following surprise attack on coalition forces’ bases.
The group’s fighters armed with RPGs and machine guns carried out the attack, according to a local resident, who asked to be anonymous for reprisal attack on his life.
He says Kenyan forces responded the attack with heavy artilleries, adding that the fighting between the coalition forces and Al Shabaab had lasted for hours.
“I can’t confirm you the exact figure of casualty, but I heard that number of people, including both combatants died in the battle”, he said.
Somali-based group Al Shabaab claimed to have inflicted heavy loses upon Kenyan soldiers and Jubaland troops during the skirmish near the border town.
The group says on its website that its fighters had captured Qoqani area, after overpowering the allied forces, who reportedly retreated from the town.
Neither Jubaland military officials nor Kenyan Defense Forces’ commanders have commented on the claims made by Al Shabaab over the fighting near border town.
With reporting by Mareeg Online journalist, Abdirisak Mohamud Tuuryare from Mogadishu, Somalia