Official: Gunmen attack AU base in Somalia 
A protester's hands are covered in red paint after carrying red-painted crosses, symbolizing the blood of the 28 non-Muslims singled out and killed in a recent attack - AP
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NAIROBI, Kenya: A Somali official says gunmen have attacked the African Union base in Mogadishu.

Mohamed Abdi, a policeman at the capital’s airport, which shares a fence with the AU base, said Thursday there was an exchange of fire between the gunmen and troops.

Somali terror group Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack saying they were targeting a Christmas party at the base which houses U.N. offices, among others.

AU troops are bolstering Somalia’s weak government against an insurgency from the Al-Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab.

Troops have managed to push the militants from their major strongholds, including Mogadishu in 2011, but the extremist group still carries out frequent attacks.

The United Nations representative to Somalia, Nicholas Kay, condemned the attack on Twitter, saying it took place at the Mogadishu airport.

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