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​Somalia: al-Shabaab militants ambush Ethiopian troops in central Somalia


BELEDWEYNE, Somalia- al-Shabaab fighters have ambushed Ethiopian soldiers’ convoy serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in the central region of Hiiraan, Garowe Online reports.

Dozens of al-Shabaab fighters attacked the military convoy on Wednesday in a remote area of Burdar, located 40 kilometers east of Beledweyne town, the regional capital of Hiiraan region.

”We were in state of fear and shock as both sides exchanged heavy weaponry, including RPGs and machine guns during the gun battle,” said a resident in Burdar village, where the attack took place.

The number of casualties are not clear as the area, but al-Shabaab claimed through their affiliated media that they have killed two Ethiopian soldiers and destroyed military vehicles.

An official in the region who spoke on the condition of anonymity told GO that the Ethiopian troops switched off the telecommunication services following the attack, as they called-in for reinforcements.

AMISOM is yet to comment on the al-Shabaab attack against the Ethiopian forces as they were traveling in the main road connecting Beledweyne town to Buloburde town.

The areas has witnessed many ambushes against the AU and Somali forces over the past few years as al-Shabaab controls still large swathes of rural areas in Hiiraan region, and disconnected some main routes.