US Condemns al-Shabab Attacks in Somalia

ADDIS ABEBA – The US has condemned an attack against a military base outside Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, and praised the army for acting swiftly to repel it.

The base is used by American forces to train Somali soldiers. The al-Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the early morning attack.

The Somali army says it killed al-Shabab fighters who attacked the military base located about 100km north-west of Mogadishu.

The militants detonated a car bomb before a gun battle ensued at the Ballidoogle Airbase.
US ambassador to Somalia, Donald Yamamoto, said the Somali army did not suffer any casualties, the BBC reported.

Africom has also said no U.S. or partner force personnel were injured after al-Shabaab militants conducted a Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device attack at the Airfield.

“This attack, though ineffective, demonstrates the direct threat al-Shabaab poses to Americans, our allies, and interests in the region,” said Maj. Gen. William Gayler, U.S. Africa Command director of operations.

He said, “Incidents like this will not compromise the pressure being placed on this terrorist network by the Federal Government of Somalia and international partners.”

In response to this attack and in self-defense, U.S Africa Command conducted two airstrikes and used small arms fire targeting al-Shabaab terrorists.

It is assessed U.S. and partner forces killed ten terrorists and destroyed one vehicle involved in the attack, Africom said in a statement.