Suspected al-Shabaab militants Friday morning attacked Kenyan peacekeeping troops in Somalia near the Kenyan border, with no casualty figures released as yet.
The attack was on a base in the town of Kulbiyow in Somalia’s Lower Jubba region, there as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping force operated in the Horn of Africa state by the African Union with United Nations approval.
While the attack was still ongoing, Kenya’s Daily Nation quoted military spokesperson Col. Njoroge as saying, “We are under massive attack and there is a massive exchange of fire.”
A Kenyan security official who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity due to restrictions to speaking to the media said that Nairobi had been briefed about the attack.
“The details are scanty, but we have received information from the soldiers on the ground that there has been another ambush. We don’t have any more details on the casualties or the attack itself.”
Al-Shabaab claimed the attack via pro-insurgent radio Andalus, saying that “at least 57 unbelievers, soldiers, and police” were killed in the assault.
Local residents posted on social media that there was heavy gunfire coming from the direction of the military base after “hundreds” of al-Shabaab militants stormed the facility.
The attack is somewhat similar to the January 2016 battle at El Adde, Somalia, where dozens of Kenyan troops were killed by the al-Qaeda-linked militants. More than 60 Kenyans were killed, though the Kenyan government did not release official figures.