Al-Qaida extremists were on a rampage this Friday carrying out attacks in Somalia and Burkina Faso. In Somalia, they raided an African Union military base killing at least 60 Kenyan troops, while in Burkina they practically have the capital under siege with an ongoing attack on a hotel where at least 20 people have been reported dead so far.
The government of Kenya confirmed that at least 60 of their soldiers were killed when al-Shabaab—al-Qaida's branch in East Africa—stormed the base located in the southern Somali town of Al Ade.
The extremists released a statement on their Shahada News website, saying that “fighters from the Shabaab al Mujahideen Movement mounted a broad attack on Friday morning, on a military base of Kenyan forces in the area of ‘Ayl ‘Adi (Al Ade).” The base is located 360 miles south of the capital Mogadishu.
Al-Shabaab explained that their attack began with a suicide bombing followed by an assault team that stormed the African Union base.
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According to news reports, a fierce battle erupted between the extremists and the Kenyan forces which lasted over an hour.
The extremists claim they killed “nearly 100 soldiers from the Kenyan forces,” however Kenyan authorities denied the attack was at the African Union base.
“Extremists attacked a Somali base that was stormed and Kenyan troops counterattacked,” the BBC quoted the Kenyan government as saying.
Al-Shabaab also claimed they seized over 30 military vehicles and “large quantities of weapons, ammunition, and military gear.”
In the meantime, Burkina Faso's capital is under siege as it is the scene of an ongoing attack on the Splendid Hotel, to which security forces arrived only to make a swift U-turn after apparently considering they had no chance against the al-Qaida gunmen. However, later, more security forces arrive to the hotel and engaged in a fierce battle.
The hotel is frequently visited by French troops with Operation Barkhane, a force based in Chad and set up to combat Islamic militants across Africa’s vast, arid Sahel region, The Guardian reported.
“(The shootout) is continuing at this time. We are trying to know how many attackers they are to better coordinate our actions. Hostages have been taken. The operation could take several hours,” a sources told the British news outlet.The U.S. Embassy in Ouagadougou tweeted: “We are closely following the situation downtown.”