The national army [Uganda People’s Defence Force-UPDF] has spoken out on the deadly ambush staged by Somalia insurgents against African Union troops on Sunday.
UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, said a joint Somali National Army [SNA], African Union Mission in Somalia [AMISOM] and UPDF patrol under 7th Battalion of Battle group twenty two was ambushed by Al-Shabaab terrorists today.
The incident took place at Gorowen between Bulumaler and Beladamini in Lower Shabelle region about 140Kms South West of Mogadishu.
The troops equivalent of a platoon plus were conducting a regular patrol to secure the Mogadishu Barawe Main Supply Route (MSR) which still harbours pockets of Al Shabaab insurgents.
Col. Hassan Mohamed, a senior Somali military officer, told Reuters they had not yet ascertained the number of casualties from the fierce fight.
Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab’s military operation spokesman, said: “We have in hand 39 dead bodies of AU soldiers including their commander.”
Voice of America reports that 10 UPDF soldiers were killed in the ambush.
UPDF mouthpiece Karemire says a lot of damage was inflicted on the enemy “while our troops took fatalities whose number is yet to be ascertained and will be made known as the situation evolves”.
“We salute the gallant officers and men who have made sacrifices to ensure that peace is restored in Somalia.”
He added: “Such incidents that require at times our soldiers to pay the ultimate price will not deter our resolve to accomplish the mission.”