Less than a week after Shabaab’s attack on the African Union base in Leego in southern Somalia, the al Qaeda branch has released several photos of the event that appear to verify some of the group’s claims.
The photos show the attack on the military base, as well as Shabaab fighters killing dozens of Burundian troops. Many of the photos released by the jihadist group are too graphic to be published. However, other photos show a number of captured weapons and vehicles, as well as Burundian military uniforms. Three photos shows a jihadist destroying a makeshift church used by the Burundian troops. The jihadist group also said that it will release a separate statement soon containing the identities of the killed soldiers.
The attack on the military base is said to have left around 70 Burundian troops dead out of the 100 that were stationed there. A suicide attack allowed an assault team to penetrate the base. A statementreleased by Shabaab on the radio station Al Andalus, which is affiliated with the group, said that its forces were able to capture many light and heavy weapons. Radio Al Furqan, another Shabaab-linked station, claimed that the jihadist group’s fighters also captured several vehicles and that “senior Shabaab members” gave a sermon to nearby civilians. [For more information on the attack, see LWJreport, Shabaab assaults African Union base.]
While Shabaab claimed that it captured the town of Leego and that its flag “now flies above the town,” Ethiopian troops are said to have recaptured the military base in recent days. This cannot be independently confirmed by The Long War Journal, however.