Somalia: Al-Qaeda affiliates attack town near Kenyan border, 12 killed


Mogadishu: At least 12 people have been killed and several others wounded after Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shabab fighters briefly took control of a small town on the border with Kenya in a battle, media reported on Sunday.

According to military officials and witnesses, heavy fighting broke out late Saturday afternoon in Bulohawo and lasted into the evening. The militants took full control of the town for a few hours before Somali troops were able to reinforce their positions.

Casualty estimates varied but most sources agreed that at least a dozen people, most of them fighters for the two sides, had been killed.

Around 10 civilians injured in the fighting were also evacuated across the border to Mandera for medical treatment, according to residents on the Kenyan side. The attack appeared to have come as a surprise, with the militants having been forced out of their major strongholds by troops from the African Union force AMISOM over the past months.