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Special Reports

Shabaab photo release details attack on AMISOM base

Last week, a large Shabaab attack on an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) base near the Somali capital of Mogadishu left at least a dozen Ugandan troops dead. The Ugandan military confirmed twelve of its troops were killed, however, there are conflicting reports on the actual number of casualties.

According to a statement released by Shabaab, al Qaeda’s official branch in Somalia, one of its fighters rammed a vehicle packed with explosives into the perimeter of the base in Janale. A team of heavily armed fighters then entered the breach and attacked the troops inside. While the jihadists were assaulting the base, another team destroyed a nearby bridge to cut off any reinforcements, a Somali military officer told Reuters on Sept. 1. The same statement said that 50 AMISOM troops were killed in the assault. [See LWJ report, 12 Ugandan troops killed as Shabaab assaults base in Somalia.]

The pictures released by Shabaab today corroborate most of the claims in the statement. A suicide bomber is shown detonating near the base before jihadists move into the base. The group claimed that the suicide bombing killed 40 soldiers in the blast. However, only 12 bodies of Ugandan troops are shown in the released images, backing up the official Ugandan claim. Additionally, a large amount of weapons and ammunition is also shown to have been captured by Shabaab.

The attack was undertaken by Shabaab’s Sheikh Abu Zubayr Battalion, which is named after the Shabaab leader who was killed by a US drone strike last year. In June, the jihadist group said the battalion killed more than 60 Ethiopian troops. Shabaab released photographs which appeared to back up that claim.

Click here to read the full report.

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