Kenya: Dozens of Burundi soldiers killed in Somali AU military base attack

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Dozens of African Union (AU) troops were killed Friday in a dawn raid on the AU Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) Base situated in Leego town, 130 km south of  Mogadishu, when an Al Shabaab terror group attacked the camp using a car bomb, an AU official confirmed.

AU Special Envoy Maman Sidikou said the dawn attack led to “losses” suffered by the Burundi contingent serving under the AMISOM.

“This attack will not diminish our resolve to continue to support the Somali government and people until they are free from terrorism,” Sidikou said.

AMISOM officials vowed to continue joint operations with the areas of Somalia still under Al Shabaab domination in order to pacify the entire country.

“AMISOM regrets the losses suffered and registers his solidarity with the government and people of Burundi whose soldiers, serving under AMISOM, were affected in this callous attack,” Sidikou said.

Witnesses said the armed attackers rammed a car bomb onto the gate of the Leego army base and proceeded to shoot indiscriminately.

Media reports indicate at least 70 Burundian soldiers were killed and another 20 soldiers and 40 civilians were still missing after the attack.

UN Special Envoy Nicholas Kay strongly condemned the attack by Al Shabaab militants on an AMISOM base.

“I send my heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones in today’s attack as well as to the people and the government of the Republic of Burundi,” Kay said.

At least 15 militants took part in the attack on the military base. The AMISOM contingent, which has been expanding its control on territories previously under the Al Shabaab control, has managed in recent years to reduce battlefield fatalities.

“These brave peacekeepers sacrificed their lives in the ongoing efforts to bring lasting peace and stability to Somalia,” Kay noted. “Our support for the people of Somalia and our solidarity with the African Union Mission in Somalia, and Somali security forces in their efforts to defeat al-Shabaab and build peace and stability will not waver.”

The Al Shabaab has intensified its road-side attacks since the start of the fasting month of Ramadhan, leaving dozens dead, including senior Somali military officers.

-0- PANA AO/AR 26June2015

26 june 2015 17:17:08

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