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Al-Shabab claims attack on Somali African Union base

The extremist al-Shabab group has claimed responsibility for a suicide truck bombing at an African Union base in central Somalia.

The bomber detonated the explosives-laden vehicle at the gates of the base in Beledweyne town where soldiers from Djibouti are stationed, Somali police officer Ahmed Ali said.

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 added that all attackers had been killed.

Somali president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud condemned the attack, saying terrorist elements were committed to wreaking havoc in the 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.

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