President Mohamed Abdullahi of Somalia has vowed to revenge on Al-Shabaab after Thursday’s deadly attack on a military base in the Puntland region.

Not less than 38 people were killed as the Islamists overran a military base in Af Urur, a town about 100 km (60 miles) south of Bosaso, the capital of Puntland, one of Somalia’s semi-autonomous regions.

Most of those killed were soldiers, a Puntland security official said, adding 18 others were wounded, with an unknown number also feared captured alive.

In a statement, Abdullahi said the country’s army was in “hot pursuit” of Islamist group al Shabaab fighters after the insurgents’.

He promised that the Somali military would retaliate and avenge al Shabaab’s attack.

“We must show no mercy in dealing with Alshabab,” he said.

“We promise that Alshabab won’t get away with this. As of now, our troops are in hot pursuit of the enemy, they will pay for today’s attack.”

The al Qaeda-linked Islamist group cited a higher toll in the attack, saying it had killed 61 soldiers.