Since the mid-1970s, from Saharan Africa to Central Asia, "technicals" - light pickup trucks with heavy weaponry - have been a game-changer for them.
Militant spokesman earlier claimed they had taken control of the base killing "dozens", and had raised their flag and seized weapons.
Shabaab gets more deadly as bomb blast on UN bus kills 10. Claims deaths of Burundi and Kenyan African Union troops
Puntland had escaped militant violence until recently. Shabaab says it targeted the UN because its "part of the colonisation force in Somalia".
Kenya Mpeketoni attack brings number killed in last 12 months to 150, and adds to Africa's terror headache
The militants, estimated to number 50, attacked hotels, restaurants and government offices. Terrorism has taken a heavy toll on the coastal economy
The Nigerian Islamists have dislodged Al Shabaab from the top of Africa's most trending terror list--a feat unmanaged in the last two years.