An estimated 30 people died on Sunday when Somalia’s Islamist al Shabaab group launched an attack in a town in the country’s semi-autonomous state of Galmudug, a security official said.
The insurgents used car bombs in the assault on a military base in Galmudug’s Wisil town, located in central Somalia, triggering a fight with government troops and armed locals, Major Mohamed Awale, a military officer in Galmudug told Reuters.
“They attacked the base with two car bombs and fierce fighting that lasted over an hour followed,” he said.
“The car bombs damaged the military vehicles…residents were well armed and reinforced the base and chased the al Shabaab.”
Thirty people, including 17 soldiers and 13 civilians, died in the fighting, Awale said.
The al Qaeda-allied al Shabaab has been fighting in Somalia for more than a decade to try to topple the country’s central government and establish its own rule based on its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.
Fighters from the group frequently carry out gun and bomb assaults on a range of both civilian and military targets including busy traffic intersections, hotels and military bases.