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Al-Shabab launches attacks against US airbase, EU convoy in Somalia

A vehicle destroyed following a car bomb near the Somali parliament in Mogadishu on June 15, 2019. (Photo by AFP)

The al-Shabab terrorist group has launched two separate attacks on a US military base and a European Union military convoy in Somalia.

The militants initially raided a base operated by US forces in the Somali town of Baledogle on Monday, witnesses and security sources said.

“Two heavy explosions occurred, the first one bigger than the other. There was also a heavy exchange of gunfire after the blasts, but we don’t know about the details,” witness Mohamed Adan told AFP.

Police said the attack was directed at the US forces deployed to the base, which Washington uses for its drone operations in the African state.

The second attack was carried out by another bomber against an armored vehicle with EU military personnel on board in the capital, Mogadishu.

Italy’s Defense Ministry confirmed in a statement that an Italian military convoy had been hit by an explosion.

Somali security officer Omar Abikar also confirmed the attack and said “there are casualties.”

The al-Qaeda-linked al-shabab militant group claimed responsibility for the assaults.

The terrorist outfit was forced out of Mogadishu with the help of African Union forces in 2011. However, it still wields control in large parts of the countryside, and every now and then carries out deadly attacks against government, military, and civilian targets in the capital as well as regional towns.

It has fought successive Somali governments as well as neighboring governments in Kenya and Uganda.

Somalia has faced instability and violence since 1991, when the military government was overthrown.

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