African Union Troops in Somalia Ward Off Al-Shabaab Attack

African Union Soldiers
African Union soldiers on patrol in Somalia. Photographer: Mohamed Abdiwahab/AFP/Getty Images

African Union troops in Somalia said they fought off an assault by al-Shabaab forces, contradicting the group’s claims that scores of soldiers were killed in fighting.

Al-Shabaab attacked African Union forces backing Somali government soldiers near the southern town of Burhakaba, the Mogadishu-based AU mission said in a statement on Friday.

A report on Radio Andulus, which supports the Islamist rebels and said that the attack left more than 50 Ethiopian troops dead, was “yet another futile attempt by Al-Shabaab to discredit security gains” made by the AU, the statement said.

Al-Shabaab has waged an insurgency in the Horn of Africa nation since 2006 in a bid to impose a strict form of Islamic law. While the group has lost ground since being driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 by government and African Union forces, it continues to stage deadly gun and bomb attacks.

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