Mogadishu(July 31, 2017): At least 23 African Union peacekeeping troops and a Somalian soldier have been killed in an ambush carried out by armed group al-Shabab in the country’s south, according to a senior regional official.
The fighting broke out when the al-Shabaab fighters attacked the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) troops early on Sunday in the Bulamareer district of the Lower Shabelle region, about 140km southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.
“We have carried 23 dead AMISOM soldiers and a dead Somali soldier from the scene where al Shabaab ambushed AMISOM today,” Ali Nur, the deputy governor of Lower Shabelle region, told foreign news agency.
The armed group, which has been fighting the Western-backed government in Somalia, claimed they had killed 39 African Union troops.
The claim by the al-Qaeda linked fighters, made by the group’s spokesman on an affiliated radio station, could not be immediately verified.
Local residents confirmed that the fighting had taken place in the Lower Shebelle region, a hotly contested area where al-Shabab’s spokesman said they had staged their ambush.