Several people were killed in an attack on a military base in Somalia overnight on Sunday, eyewitnesses have reported.
“There was heavy fighting that left several of the soldiers dead,” said security official Abdirashid Moalim, speaking from Kismayu
“There were machine guns and rockets, and the fighting ended when the soldiers were overpowered,” said Abdi Bakar, a witness, who said he had seen nine bodies.
This is the latest attack in a series of assaults by the Al Qaeda affiliated group.
Al-Shabab seeks to depose Somalia’s Western-backed government in Mogadishu.
Last week the militant group launched a heavy attack on a military base in Mogadishu, targeting a training centre for intelligence officials.
Dozens of intelligence officials were reportedly killed in the attack, according to the Reuters news agency.
A witness told Reuters that an explosion was followed by heavy gunfire early in the center of the capital Mogadishu, where the National Intelligence and Security Agency headquarters is located.
Later, al-Shabab's military operations spokesman Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters "We captured the building and we are fighting inside it," before Somali authorities claimed to have regained the control of the base.
According to government sources, a car bomb was destroyed before it reached the target and two al-Shabab fighters were killed. No security forces casualities were reported.
Interior Ministry spokesman Mohamed Yusuf said that security forces had successfully repulsed the attackers.
"They were trying to storm the premises but they have been taken out before they reached their objective. There was no casualty on our side," he told reporters.
In another incident, al-Shabab fighters killed at least eight officers in an attack on a police station near the capital city on Saturday, police and al-Shabab militants confirmed.
"Al-Shabab killed eight of my colleagues and took three of our cars," Major Abdikadir Hussein, a police officer, told Reuters.
The attack took place in Afgoi town, 30 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu.