At least four military commanders were among soldiers killed in a militant attack on an army base in a village in south Somalia’s Middle Shabelle region on Friday.
Al-Shabaab said it had killed 31 soldiers and captured military vehicles and weapons, adding that its fighters had overrun a base in Hilowle-gab, a village seized by government troops during a recent offensive.
“We were woken by three deafening blasts on the edge of the village and then a heavy exchange of gunfire followed,” Mohamed Hussein, a resident of Hilowle Gaab told Reuters. “Fighting has died down. I do not know how many died.”
Ahmed Nur Shine, Eise Qobey, Abdikadir Mohamud Testo and Hassan Ali Indhol were among commanders killed in the militant assault. Relatives have shared the news of their death and their images on social media.
Somali government’s drought envoy Abdirahman Abdishakur sent condolences to those who had lost their loved ones in the militant attack.
Officials who spoke to state Radio, including former commissioner of Mogadishu’s Wadajir district Ahmed Daai said troops had repulsed the dawn attack, which came a day after two car bombs killed more than 35 people in the central town of Mahas.