Ethiopian troops on Friday engaged in combat with Al-Shabaab fighters in the town of Buur Hakaba in Somalia’s southern Bay Region, multiple sources reported.
One source, a VOA journalist described the confrontation as one of the deadliest saying that the insurgents had attacked the convoy of the troops with an improvised explosive device, IED.
Harun Maruf said it took security reinforcement from Baidoa, capital of the Bay region to fend off the attack that left the Ethiopians with casualties.
He cited security briefing which said “… 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.”
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.
BREAKING: One of the deadliest confrontations reported in Bay region today after Al-Shabaab ambushed Ethiopian military convoy at Hawaal Aluundo, 15km W of Bur Hakaba. Al-Shabaab used IEDs followed by heavy attack. Significant casualties have been reported, per reliable sources.— Harun Maruf (@HarunMaruf) January 18, 2019
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.