Somalia militant group al-Shabaab has ambushed Ethiopian soldiers’ convoy serving with the African Union peace forces in Somalia, residents said.
Dozens of armed insurgents attacked a convoy carrying Ethiopian troops on Thursday in a remote area close to Buurhakaba district in southwestern Bay region of Somalia.
”We heard heavy gun battles that lasted for more than 12 hours. All the residents were in state of fear and shock,” said one resident in Jama’eo village, where the attack took place.
The number of casualties is yet unclear as the area is remote.
But al-Shabaab officials have claimed through their media that they have killed around 30-soldiers and destroyed military trucks.
A government official in the region who spoke on the condition of anonymity told Horseed Media that the Ethiopian troops called in for a reinforcement which came under another attack on their way to the area from the ‘’enemy’’.
On the other hand, AMISOM officials are yet to comment on the incident nor the Ethiopian government.
The main highway connecting Mogadishu to Somalia’s southern regions is often the sight of insurgent ambushes. In April, Six African Union soldiers were been killed in two separate ambushes by the al-Qaeda-linked extremists.
The AU force in Somalia deployed to Mogadishu in 2007 to back the weak interim government. In January 2014, the Ethiopian troops formally joined the AMISOM peacekeeping mission and based in Baidoa, Southwestern Somalia.
The al-Qaeda-linked extremists remain dangerous, unpredictable and bold, known for audacious and chilling attacks. Their fighters routinely target the Somali government in Mogadishu. The group has also sought to terrorize neighboring Kenya.
Somalia has been racked by constant war for more than 20 years – its last functioning national government was toppled in 1991.