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At least 30, including 13 civilians, killed in al-Shabab attack in Somalia

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
File photo by AP shows al-Shabab militants marching in southern Somalia.

At least 30 people have been killed when Somalia's al-Shabab militant group launched an attack in a town in the state of Galmudug, a security official said.

The militants launched the attack on Sunday on a military base in Galmudug's Wisil town, triggering a fight with government troops and armed locals, Major Mohamed Awale, a military officer, said.

Awale confirmed that the attack was launched using “two car bombs and fierce fighting,” which lasted more than an hour.

“The car bombs damaged the military vehicles...residents were well-armed and reinforced the base and chased the al-Shabab,” he explained.

He also said that 30 people, including 17 soldiers and 13 civilians, lost their lives in the assault.

In a statement on its Radio Al-Andalus, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack and said that its fighters had killed more than 30 soldiers and wounded over 40 others.

The al-Shabab group, which is an ally of al-Qaeda, has been fighting Somalia’s central government for more than a decade, in an attempt to establish its own rule in the African nation.

The militants frequently carry out gun and bomb attacks against both civilian and military targets, including busy traffic intersections, hotels, and military bases.

Abdullahi Mohamed, a resident in Wisil said people “crept and slept on the ground” during the latest attack, adding that he personally witnessed dozens of people getting injured in the assault.

The Somali government condemned the attack, according to a statement posted on the website of the Somali national news agency SONNA, which also reported that 41 al-Shabab militants were killed in the clashes.

The attack was carried out after the Somalian government executed 21 al-Shabab militants in Puntland, reportedly the largest number of executions of al-Shabab members in the semi-autonomous state.

They were convicted of carrying out assassinations and bombings in the country.

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