Al-Shabaab attacks African Union mission camp in Somalia

Somalia’s al-Shabaab group is responsible for a car bomb and gun attack on an African Union (AU) mission troop camp.

Women walk past a destroyed house and the wreckage of a car after an explosion set off by Al Shabab militants in Mogadishu, Somalia, in February. /AFP

A local elder told reporters the attack happened early Tuesday at the AU camp in the Shabelle region in central Somalia.

“The blasts were at the African Union mission base. Heavy exchange of gunfire followed,” local elder Mohamed Nur told Reuters by phone from El Baraf.

Al-Shabaab later released a statement saying militants managed to overrun the base and are now in complete control.

However, officials in Shabelle and the African Union mission were not immediately available to comment on the attack.

For years, al-Shabaab has been trying to topple Somalia’s central government and establish its own rule.