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Al-Shabab has attacked a military base on the outskirts of Masagawa, a town in central Somalia, about 190 miles north of Mogadishu, leading to at least 17 dead.

Hussein Nur, an eyewitness, said, “I have seen 17 dead people including the attackers and the attacked. The fighting has moved into the forest. The town is calm now and under government control.”

Corroborating the account of the attack, Captain Abdullahi Mohamed, a military officer stationed in Masagawa, confirmed the death of 12 al-Shabab militants. However, he was unable to provide a precise number of military casualties. Mohamed described the combat as a fierce fire exchange on the town’s outskirts. He added, “So far, I know we lost soldiers but I have no exact figure. We repulsed al-Shabab and now we are pursuing them in the forest.”

The Somalia National Army provided further details via a post on Twitter. They claimed to have thwarted an attack on the town, resulting in the deaths of numerous al-Shabab insurgents. They did not disclose an exact figure of enemy casualties. This assault comes on the heels of another recent attack by al-Shabab on a base housing Ugandan peacekeeping forces from the African Union in Bulamarer, located southwest of the capital.

Al-Shabab has been trying to overthrow Somalia’s central government since 2006, intending to establish a regime guided by its stringent interpretation of Islamic law. Despite a government-led counteroffensive last year that seemingly weakened the group, al-Shabab has continued to conduct significant attacks on hotels, military bases, and government facilities.


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