MOGADISHU, July 21 (Reuters) – Militants from the Somali Islamist group al Shabaab attacked two villages close to the border with Ethiopia, killing 17 folks, together with three civilians and Ethiopian cops inside Somali territory, whereas 63 of its fighters have been killed, an Ethiopian safety commander at mentioned the scene.
The uncommon assault within the border space passed off on Wednesday when fighters from the al-Qaeda-linked group raided Yeed and Aato villages in Somalia’s Bakool area after the killing days earlier of one in every of their commanders on the Ethiopian facet of the border, mentioned the Ethiopian commander.
Attacks by al Shabaab in areas close to Ethiopia’s border are uncommon attributable to a strong Ethiopian safety presence within the area and inside Somalia, the place also they are a part of an African peacekeeping power.
An al Shabaab commander had crossed the border to establish a unit in Ethiopia, mentioned the Ethiopian commander, who requested to not be named as he was not licensed to converse
The Ethiopian commander had initially put the demise toll at 17 killed Ethiopian cops, however later clarified that civilians have been among the many lifeless.
He mentioned regional Ethiopian police seized heavy machine weapons and automobiles from al Shabaab fighters. He mentioned he had seen dozens of al Shabaab lifeless.
Al Shabaab’s spokesman for the navy operation, Abdiasis Abu Musab, mentioned the group’s fighters had captured the 2 villages and killed dozens of Ethiopian cops there. He additionally mentioned the group seized weapons from the Ethiopian police.
Musab declined to touch upon al Shabaab’s demise toll.
Casualty figures given by al Shabaab and the authorities in Somalia or elsewhere usually differ considerably. Reuters is usually unable to independently confirm the figures.
Somalia Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre’s workplace mentioned he had mentioned the assault with the president of Somalia’s southwest area, the place Bakool is positioned. The president of Ethiopia’s Somali area had no touch upon the assault.
Barre’s workplace mentioned he had ordered safety and reduction companies to reply to the state of affairs in Bakool.
Al Shabaab continuously carries out bombings in Somalia to topple the federal government and rule based mostly on its strict interpretation of Islamic Sharia legislation.
Reporting by Feisal Omar and Addis Ababa Newsroom; Writing by George Obulutsa; Editing by James Macharia Chege and Mark Porter