MOGADISHU — Shabaab fighters attacked an Ethiopian army base in central Somalia early Thursday in the most recent raid targeting foreign soldiers deployed as part of an African Union force in the country, rebels and local residents said.
The Al-Qaeda linked militants attacked the base in Halgan in Hiran region, the group said in a statement distributed on its Telegram messaging channel.
It claimed that fighters had killed “at least 43” Ethiopian soldiers, but this could not be verified independently.
Residents in the area close to Halgan said the attack began when a vehicle driven by a suicide bomber exploded, after which jihadist gunmen fought their way into the base.
“There was a huge blast and then heavy exchange of gunfire started,” said Osman Adan, a nearby resident.
Shabaab launched this style of “swarming” attack a year ago and have since overrun forward operating bases manned by Burundian troops in Lego in June, Ugandan troops in Janale in September and Kenyan troops in El Adde in January.
The contributing countries refuse to confirm casualty numbers but it is believed that scores of soldiers from the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have been killed in each attack.
This is the first such attack on an Ethiopian outpost.
“Mujahideen fighters stormed the base and massacred many of the Ethiopians,” the Shabaab statement said.
The Shabaab was forced out of the capital Mogadishu five years ago but continues to carry out regular attacks on military, government and civilian targets in its battle to overthrow the internationally-backed administration.
PM congratulates Nepali national cricket team
KATHMANDU— Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has congratulated Nepali national cricket team for being able to clinch the International T20 series.
PM Oli in a tweet extended best wishes and congratulations saying he was very happy to know Nepal’s win over the UAE by 14 runs in the third match of the series.
Winning T20 series is another landmark success for Nepali cricket, he said, adding, “It is big achievement for Nepal’s cricket. I would like to heartily congratulate entire members of Nepali cricket squad”.