Heavily armed militants belonging to Al Shabaab have launched a daring overnight assault on a major AMISOM military base near Qoryoley district in Lower Shabelle region.

The attack took place at Mashalay, a small town located on the outskirts of Qoryoley, a former Al Shabaab bastion, about 120Km northwest of Mogadishu.

The ambush has led to a deadly gunfight ensued between the militants and AU peacekeepers at the camp. The AU soldiers were reported to have repulsed the attack.

Local residents reported explosions and an intense gunfire at the AMISOM base following the Al Shabaab raid which raged on for about an hour in the area.

Neither AMISOM nor Al Shabaab has commented on the battle and the casualty figures.