Islamist al-Shabaab insurgents claimed to have killed some 100 soldiers in an attack on Kenyan peacekeeping troops Sunday in south-western Somalia.
Attacks on the ground and from the air were ongoing at the Gedo region's El-Adde military base, the Kenyan Defence Ministry said, noting that a death toll would not be known until fighting ceased.
Al-Shabaab claimed to have taken about a dozen Kenyan soldiers into custody, with Kenya's Chief of General Staff Samson Mawthathe saying that there were reports of some soldiers being used as "human shields."
Al-Shabaab launched the attack Friday on El-Adde, senior Somali commander Colonel Aden Ahmed Hersi told dpa. A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb at the base's entrance before sending hundreds of armed insurgents to storm the base from two sides, Hersi said.
The Gedo region deputy governor told dpa that at least 40 people had been killed in the attack Friday.
Kenyan troops are part of a 20,000-member African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia whose core mission is to oppose the al-Shabaab Sunni insurgent group.