Somali forces kill two gunmen trying to enter military base near capital’s airport

Security unit battling ‘terrorist incident’ at camp’s gates, state TV reported

Somali security forces have killed two armed attackers who tried to burst into an army base near Mogadishu’s international on Wednesday, state media said.

Earlier in the day, state TV said security forces were battling a “terrorist incident” at the camp’s gates. A witness said gunmen had forced their way in and started shooting.

State radio reported later that the two attackers had been stopped at the base gates.

“Security Forces have shot dead two armed terrorists who attempted to force their way into the army base near Mogadishu’s Adan Abdulle International Airport on Wednesday and police will give details shortly,” state TV said.

Al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab said it was behind the attack, and had fired mortars into the camp, where African Union (AMISOM) peacekeeping troops, United Nations and other international organisations are based.

Abdiasis Abu Musab, an al Shabaab spokesman, said the group's fighters had gained entry to the base and inflicted casualties, but he did not provide proof.

Mahad Hirsi, a witness at the compound, said he saw the attackers force their way through the gate and start shooting, and that “a number of injured AMISOM soldiers (were) lying on the ground”.

Spokespeople for AMISOM and the UN's Somalia office did not immediately respond to Reuters calls and messages requesting comment.

Due to the gunfire near the airport flight traffic had been halted, a travel agent said.

Al Shabaab aims to topple Somalia’s central government and impose its own severe interpretation of Islamic law.

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