GAROWE (Somaliguardian) – A base housing troops came under a heavy attack near the coastal town of Bosaso in Somalia’s northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland, officials and militants said on Sunday.
A barrage of mortar shells struck the base on Sunday morning before the assailants and regional forces exchanged gunfire near the Af-urur military camp, in an area close to Gollis mountains where fighters of the militant group have been operating for nearly a decade.
The Al-Qaeda-affiliate says its fighters had carried out the assault and claims that Puntland troops had been ambushed after fleeing their base due to the mortar fire.
Residents in nearby villages have told media that they heard mortar explosions and gunfire exchanged by combatants during a gunfight that lasted for hours.
Militants frequently target the base, which is crucial to prevent Islamist fighters from entering the coastal town of Bosaso.
Al-Shabaab militants attacked and overran the military base and the village of Af-urur in Puntland in June 2017, killing many soldiers, in the deadliest insurgency attack of any militant group in the region since the autonomous state’s foundation in 1998.
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