The African Union AMISOM force fighting in Somalia has revealed the casualty figure of al shabaab members when the terror raided Ethopian military base in somaila at the dawn of Thursday.
The union said 110 militants were murdered as they successfully repelled an attack on one of its bases by the al Shabaab Islamist group.
“AMISOM forces killed 110 al Shabaab and captured a large cache of weapons,” AMISOM spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Joe Kibet told Reuters by telephone.
It also lashed the claim by al Shabaab that it had killed 60 AU soldiers, terming it a “falsehood” and an unfounded statistic. However, the AU Mission in Somalia (Amisom) has not said whether any of its soldiers have died or not.
Somali Security Minister Abdirisak Omar Mohamed told state-run Radio Muqdishonine African Union soldiers were killed and six others injured during the attack by Islamist militant group al-Shabaab.
He added that 240 militants had been killed during the attack in Halgan, north of Mogadishu. But AMISOM spokesman said it killed 110 militants.
Al-Shabaab reported that it had killed 60 soldiers during the attack. The group earlier said it had killed 43 AU soldiers, but its military operations spokesman later said its fighters had slaughtered 60, while 16 of its own fighters died in the attack on the base in Halgan town, north of Mogadishu.
AMISOM tweeted that its soldiers, alongside troops from the Somali army, “scored success in pushing back the attackers who are now on the run with the joint forces in pursuit”.
Local residents say they heard a huge noise which was followed by fierce gunfire at the African Union base.
Al-Shabaab has also carried out attacks on Amisom bases run by troops from Burundi, Uganda and Kenya in the past year. But this is the first time an Ethiopian-run Amisom base has been attacked by the group.
Amisom fights to retain western-backed Somali government as it fights to stay in power. Ethiopia is among the five countries deploying troops to the 22,000-strong mission to root out the group.