Somalia: 30 Ethiopian Troops Killed by Al-Shabaab
At least 30 Ethiopian troops have been killed in Somalia during an attack claimed by Islamist group Al-Shabaab.
The attack was carried out on a base for African Union (AU) peacekeepers in central Somalia, which was manned by a group of Ethiopian soldiers. The exact death toll remains unknown but Al-Shabaab, which has a reputation for exaggerating its numbers, claims to have killed 43 Ethiopian troops in the attack.
Al-Shabaab attack repelled
Ethiopia is yet to confirm the number of troops lost in the attack, but insists Al-Shabaab was repelled with 125 militants being killed in the clash. Ethiopian troops have since been pursuing militants who fled during the gunfire, however, follow-up reports have been slow to emerge.
The attack started with a suicide bomber detonating a heavily armed car bomb outside the gates of the base in Halgan town. There were initial reports of another attack at a nearby base but nothing has been confirmed at this stage.
The African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) simply stated the attack had been successfully repelled and many weapons seized from the militant fighters.
Early claims from Al-Shabaab suggested the group had successfully stormed the base and presumably taken control. However, AMISOM was quick to deny the claims, insisting there was “an attempted attack” and that AMISOM troops remain in control of the facility.
This latest attack on an AMISOM base comes after Kenyan troops suffered heavy losses during an attack on a camp in El Adde, near the Kenyan border. No official count for the number of troops lost in the conflict has yet been released by Kenya, although Al-Shabaab claims it killed more than 100 soldiers as it stormed the base.
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