MOGADISHU, Somalia — At least two African Union soldiers from Burundi have been killed in an explosion claimed by al Shabab on Thursday near Jowhar town in Middle Shabelle region, some 91km north of the Somali capital Mogadishu.
The blast, a witness said, was an improvised explosive device [IED] struck an African Union armed personnel carrier while on patrol in Burane area, about 24km north of Jowhar town, leaving two soldiers dead.
He says he saw several soldiers lying on the ground, but could not confirm if they were dead or wounded in the explosion.
In an online statement, al Shabab — an al Qaeda — linked group claimed the responsibility for the attack.
The group said it had killed two Burundian soldiers serving under African Union transition mission in Somalia. [ATMIS]
There was no immediate comment from ATMIS over the claims.
This is the first attack to target African Union forces since ATMIS replaced AMISOM earlier this month.
The Al Qaeda — linked group has been battling over a decade just to topple the UN-backed government of Somalia and impose its strict interpretation.