Somali Islamist rebels claim military base attack

AFP , Monday 5 Dec 2011

Al-Shebab militants of Somalia claim responsibility of an attack carried out a month ago

Somalia's Islamist Al-Shebab militants claimed on Monday responsibility for an attack on a military base in Mogadishu that killed four people last month, a US-based monitoring group reported.

The SITE Intelligence Group quoted a statement issued on jihadist forums saying, "The martyrdom-seeking battalion of the Shebab al-Mujahedeen Movement received the new (Islamic) Hijri year with a special operation against the largest military headquarters of the apostates,"

"One of the heroes of the martyrdom-seeking battalion was able to carry out a martyrdom-seeking operation in the heart of Villa Baidoa," a government military base in Mogadishu, said the statement.

"The operation resulted in the killing of many apostate officers and soldiers, and wounding others," it added.

On November 30, officials and witnesses said that a suicide bomber blew himself up at Villa Baidoa military base near the busy K4 intersection in central Mogadishu, killing four people but failing to enter the compound.

The attack was one in a string of blasts including roadside bombs and grenade explosions that have rocked Mogadishu in recent weeks.

The war-torn city has seen an increase in such attacks since the Al-Qaeda linked Shebab abandoned fixed positions there in August and switched to guerrilla tactics against the Western-backed government.

In October, a Shebab suicide bomber detonated an explosives-laden truck, killing at least 82 and wounding many more, the bloodiest such attack in the group's history.

The hardline insurgents control large parts of southern Somalia but are facing increasing pressure from regional armies and government forces.

Kenyan troops are battling the rebels in the far south, Ethiopia forces are in the south and west, while Ugandan and Burundian soldiers in the African Union force in Mogadishu are supporting government efforts.

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