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At least 11 soldiers killed in Al-Shabaab attack in Lower Shabelle-official

Storyline:National News, Security
Amisom soldiers. File Photo:internet

At least 11 soldiers were killed and several others injured when al-Shabaab militants attacked a military convoy in a village southwest of capital Mogadishu, officials said Sunday.

Ali Nur Mohamed, lower Shabelle region’s deputy commissioner, told reporters that heavily armed al-Shabaab militants attacked an African Union peace keeping mission and Somali military convoy near Golweyn village, located 140 kilometers (86 miles) from Mogadishu.

He confirmed 10 soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and one Somali soldier were killed and several others injured in the attack.

Police said the convoy was attacked when it was traveling between Golweyn and Bulo Marer district in the lower Shabelle region.

The Al-Qaeda affiliated insurgent group al-Shabaab claimed that it had killed more than 39 soldiers of the peace mission.

Amisom spokesman told Goobjoog News Sunday afternoon there were no fatalities on Amisom forces but noted only two of them were injured.

“The convoy was only a platoon which comprises of less than 39 soldiers. We did not lose a soldier in that attack,” Kibet said.

Ugandan Army also confirmed the attack but did not place a figure on casualties. UPDF spokesman Richard Karemire  said in a statement the forces inflicted heavy losses on Al-Shabaab but that some of the soldiers also died.

“A lot of damage was inflicted on the enemy while our troops took fatalities whose number is yet to be ascertained and will be made known as the situation evolves,” Brig . Karemire’s said in the statement.  “ We salute the gallant officers and men who have made sacrifices to ensure that peace is restored in Somalia. Such incidents that require at times our soldiers to pay the ultimate price will not deter our resolve to accomplish the mission.”

Aliyow Adan, a police officer in the region, told Anadolu Agency that fierce fighting took place after al-Shabaab militants ambushed the convoy, and security forces killed more than 8 attackers.

Earlier on Sunday, a car bomb blast near a police station in Mogadishu killed at least five civilians and injured more than 12.

Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khayre described the bomb attack “as the deadliest attack in a month”.

Anadolu Agency and Goobjoog News