Kenyan soldiers foiled the Al-Shabaab terrorist attack on their military camp, in the southern Somali town of Kulbiyow, and are pursuing the fighters, Kenya Defence Forces said here.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman, Col. Paul Njuguna, said, the Friday morning attack on the Kenyan military camp at Kulbiyow, by Al-Shabaab had failed, and Kenyan soldiers are now pursuing the attackers.

“There was an attempted attack at 5:00 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Friday, but the attackers were repulsed and are on the run. Our troops are pursuing them in a big operation dubbed Pacification. The operation will take some time,” Njuguna said, by telephone in Nairobi.

The KDF spokesman also dismissed reports that Al-Shabaab overran the Kenyan military base in Kulbiyow town, an area near the Kenyan border.

“We are at the camp now. There is no way Al-Shabaab could have raided the camp, and the claim that they killed 57 Kenyan soldiers is not true,” Njuguna said, without giving casualty figures.

A Somali military commander under the Somali National Army, confirmed the attack but details were still scanty.

“We have information that Al-Shabaab attacked a Kenyan military base in Kulbiyow. We are yet to get more details,” said the commander, who did not want to be named.

Al-Shabaab militants rammed two suicide car bombs into the military base in Kulbiyow, before engaging in a gunfire attack on Kenyan soldiers.

Locals said, there were huge blasts at the base, followed by gunfire.

“We heard heavy blasts then a gunfire fight at the base. We learnt that Al-Shabaab fighters attacked the Kenyan forces,” Farhan Jama, a local, said.

Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the Friday attack. Al-Shabaab spokesman, Sheikh Abdulaziz Abu Musab, said, they had killed at least 57 Kenyan soldiers, seized a dozen battle wagons from the Kenyan forces, and had taken full control of the camp.

The terrorist attack came a year after the Al-Qaeda allied terrorist group killed an unknown number of Kenyan soldiers at a KDF base at Elade in the Gedo region.