Starting with an IED attack, al-Shabaab has ambushed a convoy of Ethiopian troops near the town of Burhakaba, just north of the Somali capital of Mogadishu. This bombing led to an ambush by heavily armed fighters, and hours of battle.
Hours of fighting between the two sides has ended inconclusively, with al-Shabaab claiming to have killed “several” Ethiopians, while neither Ethiopia nor the African Union has confirmed the attack at all. Locals reported that reinforcements arrived during the fight and helped get Ethiopian casualties out of the area.
To the extent locals were able to confirm casualties at all, they indicated that they were from the IED attack, not the gunbattle. There was no confirmation that any of the casualties were fatalities, but two vehicles were hit in the IED explosions, and badly damaged.
Such attacks are uncommon in 2019, as attacks targeting the African Union’s forces in Somalia have been infrequent with the escalation of US involvement in the country. Most al-Shabaab efforts now are targeting the US, or Somali government forces.
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