Ethiopia lost 9 soldiers, while Al-Shabaab lost 248 militants in the fighting on Thursday morning, HornAffairs learned.

Earlier today, HornAffairs reported in a breaking news that Al-Shabaab lost 122 fighters and more than 400 militants were captured. HornAffairs’ sources were not aware of Ethiopian fatalities at the time.

The Al-Qaeda affiliate group attacked a military outpost in central Somalia nearby Halgan (Habden) town, about 300 km away from the capital Mogadishu, at dawn. Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) is part of the African Union peacekeeping mission (AMISOM) in Somalia.

Ethiopian troops foiled the attack and engaged in massive pursuit of the fighters until mid-day. The Somalian National Army joined the counter attack on the Al Shabaab.

The number of Al Shabaab fighters killed today has reached 248, HornAffairs learned from sources in the government.

Ethiopia lost 9 soldiers, the sources confided to HornAffairs

ENDF has a non-disclosure policy on causalities.

Photo - Ethiopian troops in AMISOM
Photo – Ethiopian troops in AMISOM

The sources told HornAffairs that five of the Al-Shabaab fighters killed today were foreigners.

One of them is of Caucasian decent. Ethiopian intelligence is working with its partners to identify the fighter.

Ethiopian military is inquiring on how the group managed to obtain the heavy weaponry used on the attack.

The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma condemned the attempted attacks and lauded the gallantry of AMISOM’s Ethiopian contingent and Somalian forces, in a press release in the afternoon.

The terrorist group admitted “several fighters” died as African Union force acknowledges “attempted attack.”

The attack was reported to be conducted with a ramming of the base fence with a car bomb.

Locals said that they heard a huge blast at the base, followed by a heavy exchange of gunfire between the two groups, which lasted for almost an hour.

There has been a rise in such attacks by Al-Shabaab in recent times.

Earlier this month, the militants stormed Hotel Ambassador in Somalia using a suicide car bomb. At least 16 people were killed in the incident, including two MPs. About 55 people were also injured in the attack.

On 8 June, a US Africa Command assessment of two recent strikes in Somalia confirmed that two top commanders of the terror group were killed. The airstrikes were carried out on 27 May, in south-central Somalia wherein Abdullahi Haji Da’ud, a senior military commander for the Al-Qaeda-linked group was killed.


Fetsum Berhane is an Ethiopian resident, economist researcher and a blogger on HornAffairs.

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