Ethiopian troops in Somalia along with the Somalia government forces have killed 66 Al Shabaab insurgents in Kismayo area and destroyed nine Land Cruiser pickups equipped with heavy explosives, Ministry of Defense said.
The attack was carried out on Saturday after Al Shabaab tried to stop the movement of Ethiopian forces in Somalia, the state broadcaster ETV reported last night. Ethiopian troops have been operating under Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
During its daytime newscast ETV reported that Ethiopian troops in Somalia which were patrolling the area were attacked and managed to reach their base. The news also indicated that along with the federal government of Somalia troops, Ethiopian forces in Somalia are preparing to take measures against Al Shabaab.
In a related development, the United States has said on Saturday it has killed 52 Al Shabaab extremists by airstrike, in response to an attack on Somali forces.
Recently Al Shabaab has been conducting terrorist attacks in different parts of Somalia and the neighboring Kenya. In the first week of this month seven mortar shells were fired by Al Shabaab targeting the AMISOM Basecamp in Mogadishu, but all of them failed to hit their AMISOM intended target.
Last December the terrorist group also claimed responsibility for the attack in Somalia. AL Shabaab has also attacked a hotel in Kenya last week killing many people.
As part of AMISOM, Ethiopia deployed hundreds of troops in Kismayo in January 2016 to protect the area from the terrorist attack along with other troops from Kenya and Burundi.
Reports also show that n the past few months the United States has also been targeting Al Shabaab using drone attacks. Ethiopian forces officially joined the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia in January 2014. The Ethiopian troops in Somalia have played a major role in driving Al Shabaab out of several strongholds.
The troops entered Somalia following the United Nations Security Council approval, which authorized an additional force of over 4000 troops to bring the number of AMISOM peacekeepers in Somalia to over 22,126.
Somalia has been racked by constant war for more than 20 years – its last functioning national government was toppled in 1991.