By Katamu Nedinani
The militant al-Shabab group on Friday morning carried out an attack on a Ugandan troops’ base of the African Union Transition Mission (ATMIS) in Bulla Mareer district, in Lower Shabelle region in Somalia.
The attack began shortly after morning prayers. It started with a large explosion, believed to be an explosives-laden vehicle.
Buulo Mareer is about 110km (68 miles) from the capital, Mogadishu.
Residents reported that after the big explosion, two more explosions occurred in the camp, before a fight started between the Ugandan troops and the attackers.
Al-Shabab said they captured the camp and killed dozens of ATMIS soldiers, but there has been no independent confirmation of the group’s claim.
ATMIS says its forces are currently assessing the security situation in the area but no word yet from the Somali government regarding the attack.
Ugandan army spokesperson Felix Kulayigye Tells Innerman fm that, the military was probing the attack. He blamed “foreign insurgents” for the raid without giving further details.
The actual damage caused by the attack is not yet known.
Civilians have remained inside their houses and though some of the bullets being fired hit their houses, no damage has been reported.
Some residents in Bulo Mareer told the BBC that they could hear the sound of helicopters hovering over the city.