At least 12 killed in Islamist attack on army base in Somalia

Mogadishu, June 9, (dpa/GNA) - At least 12 people were killed in an attack on a military base in Somalia carried out by the Islamist militant group al-Shabaab.

Heavy-armed members of the group attacked the base outside the city of Baidoa on Wednesday, commander Mahad Ali told dpa.

Inhabitants in Baidoa reported hearing explosions and gunfire for hours.

Ethiopian soldiers of the African Union’s peacekeeping mission came to aid the Somalian soldiers and finally succeeded in pushing back the attackers, Ali said.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack through its Andalus radio station.

Somalia, battered by a severe political crisis, has seen clashes between different political factions over the past months due to postponed re-elections.

According to the United Nations, between 60,000 and 100,000 people have fled the capital Mogadishu since April 25 out of fear of violence.

Al-Shabaab has been taking advantage of the volatile situation to increase its influence, repeatedly carrying out attacks in the country.