Al-Shabab ‘attacks’ Turkish military base in Somalia

Al-Shabab fighters have attacked a Turkish army base in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, according to a news website affiliated with the group.

Fighters launched artillery attacks on the base early Saturday morning during a training session, Somali Memo said.

“Upto 13 artilley landed at the base, resulting a dark out inside the base, ” the report said.

It still unclear whether the attack, claimed by Al-Shabab, caused casualties. This is the first time the Turkish base has come under attack.

Turkey’s active involvement began in 2011 when then Prime Minister Racep Tayib Erdogan visited the country, the first by non-African leader in two decades, in a bid to draw world attention to a devastating famine that killed thousands of Somalis.

Turkey opened its largest military base in Somalia last year and is Mogadishu’s closest ally. Ankara has invested millions of dollars in Somalia on projects such as water, health and other infrastructure. Most of these projects are concentrated in Mogadishu.

But Al-Shabab, an Al-Qaeda linked group fighting to overthrow a weak central government based in Mogadishu, sees Ankara as part of those “invading Somalia.”

In 2013, the group carried out a suicide attack at Turkish embassy in Mogadishu.

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