Al Shabab militants have driven an explosive laden car into a Somali army base at Laanta Buur 40km southwest of Mogadishu at about 1:30 am local time on Monday. The militants then stormed the former prison where gunmen are reported to have killed at least 10 soldiers according to a military officer. It is not yet known whether any high ranking government officials have died in the attack.
“A suicide car bomb rammed into the base and then al Shabaab fighters stormed it. At least 10 soldiers died,” Major Ahmed Farah told Reuters from the nearby town of Afgooye.
Local residents reported hearing light weapons and heavy artillery exchanging gunfire from the moment the suicide car bomb was detonated until about 4:00 am local time.
An Al Shabab spokesman confirmed the attack saying that it’s fighters penetrated the compound and killed 30 government soldiers. Although the exact death toll has yet to be independently verified, Al Shabab often cites a higher death toll than official figures. They also claim to have seized weapons and military vehicles.
In March of this year, Al Shabab fighters attacked the same compound killing six government soldiers and looting military trucks and RPG’s.
Al Shabab has been seen as stepping up its attacks against military installations in the region. On July 9th, “more than 100” Al Shabab fighters raided a police station in northeast Kenya seizing weapons, ammunition and police uniforms.