More than 40 Ethiopian soldiers have been killed in an attack on an army base in central Somalia.
The attack on the African Force base has been claimed by Somalia’s al Shabaab militant group, who have been targeting foreign soldiers deployed in the country.
“Mujahideen fighters stormed the base and massacred many of the Ethiopians,” an al Shabaab statement said, adding that several of its fighters had also been killed.
Residents said the attack in the area close to Halgan began when a vehicle driven by a suicide bomber exploded, after which gunmen fought their way into the base.
“There was a huge blast and then heavy exchange of gunfire started,” local resident Osman Adan reported. Such “swarming-style” hits began last June when Burundian troops were overrun in Lego.
Ugandan troops were then attacked in Janale last September, followed by a hit on Kenyan troops in El Adde in January.
Contributing countries to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) refuse to confirm casualty numbers but it is believed that scores of soldiers have been killed each time.
Al Shabaab was forced out of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, five years ago but still carries out regular attacks on military, government and civilian targets as it tries to overthrow the internationally backed administration.
The group commonly increases attacks during Ramadan, but activities have been stepped up this year as it tries to disrupt an expected change of government leadership.
Source: Sky News