Terrorist insurgents from al-Shabaab attacked two military bases belonging to the Somali National Army (SNA) early on Saturday morning. The attacks occurred at about 4 a.m.

The bases, located 45 miles southwest of the Somali capital of Mogadishu in the towns of Bariire and Awdhigle in the Lower Shabelle region of southern Somalia, were struck by two explosions, witnesses said. A third explosion targeted a convoy of troops rushing to the bases from the capital to respond to the attacks. That explosion occurred in the village of Lafole, located about 13 miles from Mogadishu. 

The two forward operating bases are strategically located to protect several bridges along the Shabelle river. 

Somali officials say that the bridges are important in preventing vehicles carrying explosives from entering Mogadishu

“The assailants tried to attack but thanks to our brave soldiers who knew about the tricks of the assailants, the militants were defeated and their wounded and dead bodies are strewn around, we will provide you the details later,” Army chief General Odowa Yusuf Rage said to the media.

Yusuf rage posted on Twitter that “Somali Army killed dozens of terrorist militants including leaders after Shabab attacked SNA bases in Awdhegle and Bariire in Lower Shabelle region.”

Hussein Nur, a military spokesman, told reporters that the Somalis lost several troops in the fighting, but sent reinforcements to bolster the bases. He didn’t specify either side’s casualties.

The army is now in control of both bases and the surrounding areas, Nur said, adding, “We are pursuing the militants in the surrounding jungle.”