Al Shabab militants capture Ceel Cado, African Union base

Military group, Al Shabab raid African Union base in Somalia, killing dozens and capturing Ceel Cado town

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

Somali government soldiers take their positions during a clash with Al Shabab militants outside the Parliament buildings in the capital Mogadishu, May 24, 2014

Updated Jan 22, 2016

A Somali militant group, Al Shabab, rammed the gates of an African Union base with a suicide car bomb in Ceel Cado, near the Kenyan border of Somalia, fighting their way inside early on Friday.

Kenya Defence Force spokesman, David Obonyo claims fighting is still ongoing, yet Al Shabab claims they have captured the town.

An unverified source claims Al Shabab announced the killing of 61 Kenyan soldiers however in the past, the Kenyan government have played down casualty figures inflated by Al Shabab.

A Kenya Defence Force spokesman claimed Al Shabab fighters overran a Somali National Army camp, run by them, situated close to a second camp.

Al Shabab said it was in control of Ceel Cado and had captured armoured vehicles including tanks and lorries.

The Al Qaeda affiliated group said that Kenyan soldiers were serving as part of an African Union force to battle the military group.

Al Shabab’s military spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab told Reuters that their fighters went in with heavy exchange of gunfire taking over the base and town.

The spokesman has claimed that soldiers fled from the base, but a Somali military official said that fighting in the base continued while residents claimed that occasional gunfire was heard.

Military officer Major Hussein Abdulle, stationed 100 km from the base, told Reuters that a suicide car bomb exploded at the gate as fighters went in with heavy gunfire.

"We see al Shabab in every corner of town," shopkeeper Abdullahi Iidle told Reuters.

"Some residents have fled."

As part of a guerilla warfare strategy to drive out foreign troops and impose harsh laws across the African nation, Al Shabab has staged multiple attacks against African Union bases in the past year. 

TRTWorld, Reuters