Heavily armed Al-Shabab fighters ambushed Ethiopian troops in fierce fighting at a remote area near Burhakaba (Southwest Federal State) town on Friday prompting hours of fierce fighting in which several people are feared dead in the gun battle.
Although Al-Shabab claims to have killed several Ethiopian troops, no official confirmation of casualties has been released by the African Union Mission (AMISOM). The insurgents had attacked the convoy of the troops with an improvised explosive device, IED.
The heavily armed Al-Shabaab fighters ambushed a convoy of Ethiopian troops traveling along Baidoa-Burhakaba road which prompted hours of fighting between the sides.
According to locals, the fighting took place this morning in an area which lies about 15km West of the town. It took security reinforcement from Baidoa, capital of the Bay region to fend off the attack that left the Ethiopians with casualties.
Al-Shabaab's remote-controlled IEDs hit two of a 4-vehicle Ethiopian military convoy followed by heavy attack, troops on this convoy reportedly took significant casualties.
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An Ethiopian reinforcement from Baidoa was also ambushed with more IEDs. Ethiopian military helicopters are said to have targeted a base where the insurgents were believed to have launched their attacks.
Ethiopian contingent are part of the wider African Union Mission in Somalia, AMISOM. The mission is mandated by the African Union Peace and Security Council and authorized by the United Nations Security Council.
Troop contributing countries include Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Djibouti and Somalia. It also has a police force with personnel from Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Uganda and Zambia.
The force is a major player in the fight against Al-Shabaab and supporting the Federal Government of Somalia, FGS.