MOGADISHU, Somalia – The al Qaeda affiliated group al Shabaab claimed to have carried out an ambush attack on armored personnel carriers with African Union peacekeepers from Djibouti contingent in central Somalia.
The attack triggered heavy fighting between African Union troops and Al Shabaab militants near Jalalaqsi town, in central Somalia’s Hiran region, a witness said.
He says the fighting lasted for 30 minutes as both sides used heavy weaponry during the gun battle.
Somali armed group al Shabaab has claimed to have inflicted heavy casualties on 13 Djiboutian soldiers serving African Union mission known as AMISOM in Somalia.
The group claims victory over the clash.
But, sources said six African Union soldiers were injured after the surprise attack.
The Djiboutian soldiers have its main base in Baladweyne town, some 335km north of Somali capital Mogadishu.
There was no immediate comment from the African Union mission in Somalia over the claims.
Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda linked group continues to hold small rural areas in central and southern Somalia
The group was pushed out of the Somali capital, Mogadishu, in 2011 after a joint offensive carried out by Somalia and African Union troops.
The rebel group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.