‘Dozens’ of peacekeepers killed in Somalia extremist attack: Sources

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“Dozens” of Burundian soldiers were killed in an attack on an African Union peacekeeping base in Somalia, according to a security source in the region and a Mogadishu-based source, after the deadliest attack on the peacekeepers in five years.

The security source in the region said several follow-up operations were going on after Tuesday’s attack by al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants.

The total number of casualties was not yet clear, he said, but “dozens” of soldiers were killed and about 20 were evacuated with wounds.

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The African Union (AU) typically does not release casualty numbers after an attack. Neither do troop-contributing countries. Neither Burundi nor the AU responded to requests for comment.

The source verified the authenticity of a video showing five soldiers lying dead - most had been stripped of their boots - as Somalis wandered inside the base perimeter. One soldier appeared to have been beheaded.

There had been between 150-200 Burundian soldiers on the base, he said, but no Somalis because Monday was the Muslim Eid holiday.

More than 100 soldiers had been accounted for, he said.

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