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Insurgents attack foreign forces in Somalia

Somali militants have launched suicide and drone strikes against a US special forces base used to train Somali commandos in Mogadishu.

 As the US base came under attack, an Italian military convoy was hit by a bomb in a separate incident in the capital.

The twin vehicle-borne bombs were followed by small arms fire at the base in the town of Baledogle, where Ugandan peacekeepers are also based, a Somali police source said. No immediate casualties from the attack were reported.

“Two suicide car bombs from the Middle Shabelle region tried to attack Baledogle airport but they detonated outside the airport gate,” Major Abdullahi Nur, a police officer, told Reuters.

The al Qaeda-linked insurgent group al Shabaab said it carried out the attack.

The Baledogle base is in the Lower Shabelle region, about 100 kilometres west of Mogadishu. Insurgents attacked it in February using mortars, but caused no casualties.

Monday’s attacks also follow a lull in US airstrikes in Somalia. Africa Command has only carried out four airstrikes in the past two months, in comparison to the first three months of 2019, when it conducted twenty-eight airstrikes throughout the country.

In a statement claiming responsibility for the attack, al Shabaab said its fighters had breached the base perimeter, though police said they had not got inside the fence.

Al Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the UN-backed Somali government in Mogadishu and enforce its own strict version of Islamic law.

Somalia has been immersed in civil war since 1991, when warlords overthrew longtime dictator Siadd Barre and then turned on one another.

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