180 Somali soldiers escape to Mandera after Bullahawa Al Shabaab attack

Somalia's army soldiers and peacekeepers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) keep vigil in the town of Barawe in October 2014. SNA soldiers were attacked by Al Shabaab militants, leaving several injured. Photo: Reuters
More than 180 solders of Somali National Army escaped to Mandera after Al Shabaab attacked their camp in neighbouring Bullahawa town Monday morning.

At least a dozen of them had injuries when they arrived at the Kenyan border and were admitted to Mandera hospitals, officials said. Others included 14 civilians.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) came to the help of the SNA in Bullahawa by bombing various positions that Al Shabaab militants had taken over.

Witnesses said the militants withdrew and escaped amid heavy bombardment from the KDF choppers minutes after the attack.

North Eastern regional coordinator Mohamud Saleh said the escaping soldiers were held at a facility in Mandera town after being disarmed.

“Some had injuries when they arrived at the border. They came with their equipment and vehicles before they were disarmed and processed,” he said.

Saleh said the soldiers would be taken back to their town because the terrorists who overrun their base had escaped.

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It is not clear how many soldiers had died in the dawn attack on the base that is few kilometers away from Kenyan border.

Security agents were put on standby over fears of spillover from the Al-Shabaab attack on a Somali military base in neighbouring Bullahawa, Somalia.

Mandera residents said they could hear explosions and gunshots from the Somalia side with many troops running to Kenya.

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Somali National ArmyAl ShabaabBullahawaKenya Defence Forces