Al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants have attacked an African Union peacekeepers base in southern Somalia, with the group claiming to have killed dozens of soldiers.
A military officer said a car bomb exploded Friday at the gate of the base and their fighters went in and that heavy gunfire was going on inside the base.
Residents said they could hear sporadic gunfire between the militant group and the Somali army in the town of Ceel Cado near the Kenyan border.
There were no immediate official reports about casualties from the attack.
An al-Shabab spokesman claimed that they had killed 63 Kenyan soldiers in the attack and captured the town of el-Adde.
Kenyan forces form part of the Amisom contingent, along with troops from Ethiopia, Burundi, Uganda and Djibouti. The mission is estimated to have lost at least 1,100 troops since 2009.
The African Union Mission in Somalia has deployed about 22,000 peacekeepers to help government forces stabilize the country.
Al-Shabab militants have frequently staged attacks against government officials and civilians over the past years.
Somalia hasn’t had a functioning central administration since civil war erupted a quarter of a century ago