MOSCOW, December 26 (Sputnik) – Five militants were killed and three captured during an al-Shabab attack on the key base of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) located in the capital of Mogadishu, AMISOM said in a statement.
Three AMISOM soldiers and a civilian were killed in the fighting.
At least eight al-Shabab militants, some of whom were wearing uniforms of the Somali National Army, launched the attack during a Christmas day lunch hour, according to the New York Times. The Islamists were allegedly targeting a Christmas party at the Halane base, the media outlet said.
The African Union condemned the attack.
After the attack, AMISOM tweeted that the base was safe and under control of the African Union (AU) force.
AMISOM base is safe & under control. The AMISOM soldiers are commended for their gallant effort in controlling the situation. #AMISOM— AMISOM (@amisomsomalia) 25 декабря 2014
Maman S. Sidikou, head of AMISOM, praised troops for their actions and expressed his condolences to the families of those who were killed.
My thoughts & prayers are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives in today's attack on the Halane base camp #Somalia— Maman Sidikou (@MamanSidikou1) 25 декабря 2014
He added that their lives were not lost in vain and "will be etched in Somali history."
AMISOM forces were deployed to Somalia in 2007. Approximately 22,000 soldiers are involved in a campaign to fight al-Shabab in the country, which is partially under control of the militants.