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Kenyan planes bombard El-Adde town following Al-Shabaab attack on AU base, residents

Storyline:Archive, National News

A new wave of Kenyan air strikes attacked today El-Adde town about 550 km (340 miles) west of Mogadishu leaving mass destruction in residential buildings, residents have told Goobjoog News.

This comes after an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) military base in El-Adde was attacked in a dawn raid by armed group Al–Shabab.

“The fighter jets of Kenya flying low level over the town were seen at first then followed airstrikes” a resident of El-Adde town

He added “The warplanes targeted several buildings in the city, which has led casualties including the occupants and bypassers”

Dozens of Al-Shabab fighters assaulted the military base, which is run by Kenyan troops who are part of the AU force in the town of El-Ade, not far from the Kenyan border, Ahmed Hassan told AP news agency by phone from Elwak, a town near the scene of the latest attack.

A Somali military official confirmed the militants had taken over the base. He said Kenyan troops and about a dozen Somali soldiers were stationed inside the AU compound.

“AMISOM has gone out of the town and base for strategic reasons,” Colonel Farah Surow, a senior military officer stationed about 100 km (60 miles) from the Ceel Cado base, told Reuters.

AMISOM spokesman Paul Njuguna who spoke to Goobjoog News confirmed the attack but did not comment on the casualties.

“We heard there was attack launched by Al-Shabab but we dispatched our men for more information therefore we shall state the outcome later” said Njuguna.

A local resident, who spoke to Goobjoog News before the communication line of the area was cut off, said that fighters attacked the base entrance with a suicide car bomb at the start of the assault.

Witnesses said the fighters used machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades.

“They managed to infiltrate the entrance after the blast. It was a complex attack,” said the local resident who declined his name.

He added “We could see smoke and hear explosions.”

Al-Shabab spokesman Al-Shabab spokesman Abdiaziz Abu Musab claimed to have killed 63 Kenyan troops in the pre-dawn attack, but this could not be immediately verified.

A spokesman for Kenya’s Defence Forces (KDF) said Al-Shabab fighters overran a Somalia National Army camp situated close to a second camp run by Kenya Defence forces.

“(Kenyan) troops under (African Union auspices) counter-attacked … The fighting is still going on …and the number of casualties on both sides is unknown,” Col. David Obonyo, KDF spokesman, said in a statement.

In September 2015, Al-Shabaab fighters stormed a Ugandan AMISOM base in Janale district, 80 kilometres (50 miles) southwest of Mogadishu in the Lower Shabelle region.

In June same year,  Al-Shabaab killed dozens of Burundian soldiers when they overran an AMISOM outpost northwest of Mogadishu.