MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — A suicide truck bomber struck an African Union base in central Somalia on Tuesday, and extremist group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack.
The bomber detonated the explosives-laden vehicle at the gates of the base in Beledweyne town where soldiers from Djibouti are stationed, said Somali police officer Ahmed Ali.
Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu-Musab, the al-Shabab military spokesman, said the attack targeted the Djiboutian base in retaliation for "immorality and massacres" he said were committed by the troops, which are part of the African Union force fighting the extremists in Somalia.
The African Union tweeted that a firefight with 10 extremists followed the truck bombing and said the extremists were "all killed."
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud condemned the attack, saying anti-peace elements were committed to wreaking havoc in this Horn of Africa country.
Despite being ousted from major strongholds across Somalia, al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida, has been attacking military positions of Somali and African Union troops bolstering Somalia's government.