Underscoring al-Shabaab's threat, the militants carried a coordinated attack on three African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) bases Sunday in the Lower Shabelle region, an al-Shabaab stronghold near the Somali capital of Mogadishu.
It is unclear exactly how many people died in the attack but both sides say many people died as AU and Somali troops defended the base.
In March 2017, Trump granted a request from the head of Africom to give commanders more authority to conduct airstrikes and raids against al-Shabaab without high-level, interagency reviews.
A police major stationed in a nearby town also said two vehicle bombs exploded outside the base before the al Shabaab fighters entered it.
At least 22 of the attackers were killed and the rest were repelled, he said.
The army added that four Ugandan soldiers were killed in the attack. AMISOM said it lost four soldiers in the ensuing battles and killed 30 al-Shabaab fighters.
However, Brig Karemire rebutted: "Do not fall into the propaganda of al-Shabaab".
"Then a large number of Al Shabab fighters began firing from under the trees", Mr. Osman told Reuters. The group attacked a peace group in Somalia.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated insurgent group al-Shabaab claimed that it had killed 59 Ugandan troops, a claim the Somali Security Ministry spokesman had denied.
The militants initially detonated two suicide auto bombs that hit one AU vehicle and one Somali military vehicle, Somali army major Farah Osman, who is stationed near the AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) base, said.
The militants controlled Mogadishu between 2007 and 2011, when they were driven out of the capital with help from AU troops.