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AU Calls Al-Shabab Attack in Somalia 'Cowardly'

Lower Shabelle, Shabelle and Bay regions of Somalia

The African Union condemned what it called a "cowardly ambush" by al-Shabab militants Sunday in southern Somalia that killed three of its troops.

The militants attacked an AU convoy in the town of Lego in Somalia's Lower Shabelle region, killing the peacekeepers from Burundi and wounding several other soldiers.

"This attack on AMISOM peacekeepers is part of the continuous effort to subvert Somalia," AU envoy to Somalia Maman Sidikou said in a statement. "It is an attempt at disrupting the growth that is evident across all regions, by the enemies of the Somali people."

The governor of the Lower Shabelle region, Abdulkadir Mohamed Nur "Siidi," told VOA Somali that at least 11 al-Shabab militants were killed during an exchange of heavy fire.

Sunday's attack followed an al-Shabab ambush Saturday on a Kenyan convoy that killed three soldiers and wounded eight others.

A Kenyan military official told reporters the convoy was attacked in the Delbio area of Lower Jubba region while on a route patrol.

Al-Shabab is attempting to overthrow the Somali government and establish an Islamic state.

Earlier this month, al-Shabab staged an attack on Kenya's Garissa University College, killing 148 people. Al-Shabab said that attack was revenge for Kenyan military action in neighboring Somalia.

Somalia's government has placed bounties on the heads of 11 al-Shabab leaders, including the militant group's top leader and the alleged mastermind of the massacre in Kenya, Mohamed Mohamud, also known as Dulyadin.

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