Al-Shabaab, the Somalia-based al-Qaeda-linked extremist Islamist group, claimed its fighters killed 47 government soldiers during a Saturday attack on two Somali army bases, the group’s military wing spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab said.
The group also claimed it confiscated equipment and ammunition during the attack in the lower Shabelle region.
The head of Somalia’s Army Odawa Yusuf denied the militants’ claim and instead said his troops foiled the attack and killed fighters from al-Shabaab, according to a broadcast on state-run radio.
“The militants claim is a white lie, I can see their bodies laying infront of me,” the commander of Somalia’s infantry forces, General Biihi said.
The attack comes at a time when Somalia is facing a political impasse as the government’s term in office expired Feb. 8 and the nation’s leaders haven’t reach consensus on holding presidential elections.
The militant group, has been waging its insurgency campaign in Somalia since 2006, has vowed to increase its attacks against the government.