Al-Shabaab captures base recently handed over by ATMIS peacekeepers


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabaab on Thursday seized a base recently handed over by African Union peacekeepers to Somalia’s military in Gedo region, officials told media.

Heavily-armed rebels attacked the town of Geriley in Gedo region, triggering an exchange of gunfire with government troops that had taken over the security responsibility for the strategic town from Kenyan peacekeepers just a few weeks ago.

In a statement, Al-Shabaab said its fighters seized control of a large base that was home to the town’s Kenyan garrison before their pullout.

At least three people have been confirmed dead in the fighting, which comes after fears earlier voiced by authorities in Jubaland region that the drawdown of AU peacekeepers could embolden insurgents.

Geriley is just 12 kilometers away from the Kenyan border with Somalia, whose reopening had been delayed by Kenya due to growing militant attacks in North Eastern and Coast regions.

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