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Several die during hours-long Islamist attack on Somali town



Three soldiers and several jihadists were killed during an all-hour attack by Islamists on the central Somali town of Baxdo on Friday, an army commander said.

The episode highlights the challenges facing the country’s newly elected president.

The attack was soon launched by a heavily armed Al-Shabaab military.

They detonated a car bomb before spreading across Baxdo, a town about 600 kilometers (375 miles) north of the capital Mogadishu.

The insurgents “stormed Baxdo early in the morning. They blew up an explosive-laden vehicle and targeted a number of key locations in the town, ”Mohamed Abdirahman, commander of a local security force, told AFP by telephone.

“I saw 13 of their dead bodies and we lost three of our comrades in battle,” he said.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud praised the army for the attack by Al-Qaeda-linked militants, which have been fighting to overthrow the government for more than a decade.

“You have sent a message of courage to show the days of the terrorists (they are numbered),” he said.

The insurgents issued a statement saying their forces had “returned to base after the operation was completed”.

The militants had tried to capture Baxdo in the previous January.

Al-Shabaab was driven out of Mogadishu, the capital, in 2011 by an African Union force.

Yet they control areas of the countryside and retain the ability to launch deadly attacks on civilian and military targets.

Several die during hours-long Islamist attack on Somali town Source link Several die during hours-long Islamist attack on Somali town

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