Three Senior Military Officers among 50 Killed in Puntland Raid

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Three senior military commanders of the Somalia’s Northeastern State of Puntland are among more than 50 soldiers and civilians killed during unexpected Al-Shabab raid on a military camp in Af-Urur, a town about 100KM southwest of Bosasso, security sources told Somali Update Online.

More than 30 wounded soldiers are admitted in hospitals in Armo and Bosasso.
The overnight militant raid started with explosions and then armed fighters stormed the heavily guarded Dervish Milatary Unit Camp in the small town.
A senior security source who spoke to Somali Update Online on anonymity condition as he was not authorized to speak to the media confirmed among the commander of the base under attack Colonel Sangal was among those killed by the militants who took control of the camp before they withdrew.
The security sources estimated the death toll about 50.
But in a press conference in Garowe, the capital of the semi-autonomous region, Puntland Internal Security Minister Abdi Hersi Ali Qarjab said there were heavy losses on both sides rejecting that the base was completely overran by the militants.
“The fight started within the town. The terrorists killed civilians including elders and non-combatants. They then raided the military base but our forces defended it.” The minister told reporters on Thursday.
“They have met huge losses. We are now chasing them.” He added.
The minister declined to confirm the number of the soldiers killed or wounded saying that “it was a security-related issue and he will not tell on the media”.
A local nurse in Armo Hospital confirmed that the hospital received about 21 injured soldiers some with some in critical condition.
Al-Shabab’s military spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab claimed the militants killed 60 soldiers.
“Al-Shabab fighters from Galgala area attacked Puntland military base in Af-Urur from four directions early on Thursday morning. Thanks God, our fighters managed to infiltrate the base.” Al-Shabab spokesman Abu Musab said.
“We have counted 61 Puntland soldiers at the base killed.” He added.
The attack comes as Puntland security forces continue the fight against the militants to tackle their growing activities in the region. But Thursday’s raid was the biggest assault by Al-Shabab since Puntland security forces declared to have flashed out Al-Shabab militia from the mountainous Galgala area in Eastern region.

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