Somali militants clash with AU troops near Mogadishu

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MOGADISHU – Heavy fighting broke out between African Union troops known as ‘AMISOM’ and Al Shabaab militants near Somali capital Mogadishu.

The fighting flared up, when heavily armed al Shabaab fighters launched an attack on AMISOM troops base in Arbow area near Mogadishu.

The attack triggered a fierce fighting which lasted for 30 minutes, according to Radio Shabelle based in Mogadishu.

It is unclear how many were killed in the fighting.

Neither African Union mission nor Al Shabaab commented on the skirmish.

The al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab often carries out such attacks on African Union forces and Somali army troops’ bases in Somalia.

The al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab militants continue to hold small rural areas in central and southern Somalia.

The group wants to overthrow the weak UN-backed government in Somalia and impose its own strict interpretation of Islamic law.

It has lost control of many towns and cities to a 22,000-strong African Union force supporting the government

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