Suicide car bomb kills several AU soldiers

Troops of the Somali National Army and the African Union Mission in Somalia, line up in a convoy on the road leading up to the Al-Shabaab stronghold of Barawe. Photo: AMISOM/Tobin Jones

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A suicide car bombing, targeting an African Union military convoy in south-eastern Somalia, has killing several people, says a Somali senior military commander.

The attack occurred in Janaale, where the Islamist group al-Shabaab stormed an AU military base, killing about 20 soldiers.

“I can confirm that there are deaths and wounded,” said the commander, who asked not to be named, without giving numbers.

He said details were still to be verified.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack on pro-insurgent radio Andalus, saying it had killed several Ugandan AU soldiers.

Al-Shabaab on Friday conquered the key district of Kuntuwarey in the same region after Somali and AU troops pulled out of there, local officials said. The reason for the withdrawal was not clear.

The AU has more than 20 000 peacekeepers in Somalia to help the government fight al-Shabaab.

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