‘Somali-American militant bombed AU base’

The al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group that claimed the attack said one of the bombers was Somali-American.

Mogadishu (Somalia): A team of suicide
bombers and gunmen disguised as soldiers have assaulted an
African Union base in the Somali capital, sparking a two-hour
gunfight that left at least 10 people dead, security officials
said.

The al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group that claimed
the attack said one of the bombers was Somali-American.
The attack underscored the militants` ability to carry out complex and deadly operations even after AU troops forced
them from most of Mogadishu and a famine in their strongholds
weakened their forces.

Earlier this month, Kenya sent troops into Somalia
following a string of cross-border attacks and kidnappings
blamed on Somali gunmen and militants battling Somalia`s weak,
UN-backed government.

During yesterday`s attack, the two suicide bombers blew
themselves up near the entrance to the compound, then more
armed attackers jumped over the walls, a Nairobi-based
security official said. He asked for anonymity because he was
not authorised to speak to the press.

The true extent of casualties from the assault was
unclear, although a Somali soldier, Col. Nor Abdi, said at
least 10 people were killed.

"They were dressed in Somali military uniform and
disguised as ordinary soldiers," Abdi said. "Then they tried
to enter the base and (AU) soldiers fired at them. Then heavy
gunfire started and all of them were killed. I don`t know how
many they were but they were more than 10 men."

In a claim posted on Somalimemo.net, a website it
frequently uses, al-Shabab militants said one of the bombers
was a Somali-American and claimed he was the second
Somali-American involved in a suicide attack in Mogadishu
within five months. They did not name the youth or offer
further details, and the claim could not immediately be
independently verified.

PTI

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