African Union troops killed in al-Shabab ambush

Official in Lower Shebelle region of Somalia confirms 24 soldiers dead but al-Shabab fighters claim 39 troops killed.

    Al-Shabab group spokesman claimed they had killed 39 African Union troops [File: Feisal Omar/Reuters]
    Al-Shabab group spokesman claimed they had killed 39 African Union troops [File: Feisal Omar/Reuters]

    At least 23 African Union peacekeeping troops and a Somali soldier have been killed in an ambush carried out by armed group al-Shabab in the country's south, according to a senior regional official.

    The fighting broke out when the al-Shabaab fighters attacked the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops early on Sunday in the Bulamareer district of the Lower Shabelle region, about 140km southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.

    We have carried 23 dead AMISOM soldiers and a dead Somali soldier from the scene where al Shabaab ambushed AMISOM today

    Ali Nur, the deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region

    "We have carried 23 dead AMISOM soldiers and a dead Somali soldier from the scene where al-Shabaab ambushed AMISOM today," Ali Nur, the deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region, told Reuters news agency.

    The armed group, which has been fighting the Western-backed government in Somalia, claimed they had killed 39 African Union troops.

    The claim by the al-Qaeda-linked fighters, made by the group's spokesman on an affiliated radio station, could not be immediately verified.

    Earlier on Sunday, Colonel Hassan Mohamed confirmed that an AMISOM convoy came under attack.

    Local residents confirmed to AFP news agency that the fighting had taken place in the Lower Shebelle region, a hotly contested area where al-Shabab's spokesman said they had staged their ambush.

    "The mujahedeen fighters stood over the dead bodies of 39 soldiers, among them senior commanders", Abdiaziz Abu Muzab told Andalus radio.

    READ MORE: Farmajo calls for arms' embargo end to defeat al-Shabab

    The African Union has a 22,000 strong force in the country dedicated to fighting al-Shabab and supporting the internationally backed government in Mogadishu.

    Residents said the troops were ambushed in the village of Golweyn as they escorted supplies along the road that connects Mogadishu to Lower Shebelle.

    "Fighting broke out and continued for more than one hour", said Ali Osman, a witness to the battle.

    In April, a minibus travelling through Golweyn hit a landmine, killing at least 14 people.

    That attack was also blamed on al-Shabab, which has fought successive governments in Mogadishu and also carried out attacks in Kenya and Uganda.

    SOURCE: News agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    Gender violence in India: 'Daughters are not a burden'

    With female foeticide still widespread, one woman tells her story of being mutilated for giving birth to her daughters.

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The Muslims of South Korea

    The number of Muslims in South Korea is estimated to be around 100,000, including foreigners.

    Aamir Khan: The Snake Charmer

    Aamir Khan: The Snake Charmer

    Can Aamir Khan create lasting change in Indian society or is he just another Bollywood star playing the role of a hero?