Al-Shabab attacks and kills 60 Ethiopian soldiers

Al-Shabab attacks and kills 60 Ethiopian soldiers Al-Shabab fighters

Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabab says it has killed 60 Ethiopian soldiers in an attack on an African Union base in central Somalia.

The AU mission (Amisom) says it repulsed the attack killing 110 militants.

Residents in Halgan told the BBC they had heard a huge bang followed by a heavy exchange of gunfire.

Amisom supports the government as it fights to regain control of the country from al-Shabab.

In a series of tweets it has said its soldiers, alongside troops from the Somali army, "drove back the attackers who are now on the run with the joint forces in pursuit".

But Amisom has not confirmed the death toll on its side.

Africa Live: More on this and other news stories

Map of Somalia - updated September 2015

Ethiopia is one of five countries contributing troops to the 22,000-strong mission and this is the first time an Ethiopian-run Amisom base has been attacked.

Halgan, 260km (161 miles) north of the capital, Mogadishu, is part of the area of Somalia patrolled by Ethiopian soldiers.

Attacks timeline

2016

21 April: Six Ethiopian troops killed in blast in Bay Region

22 February: 15 Ethiopian troops dead in clashes in Lower Shabeelle

15 January: Scores of Kenyan troops killed in an attack on base in El Adde

2015

1 September: More than 20 killed in suicide attack on base in Janale, including at least 12 Ugandan troops

26 June: At least 50 Burundian troops killed in attack on base near Mogadishu

2011

20 October: 70 Amisom and Somali troops killed in clashes in Mogadishu

In January, al-Shabab targeted a Kenyan base in el-Ade, southern Somalia.

It said it had killed more than 100 soldiers but the Kenyan authorities have not confirmed the death toll.

Al-Shabab has also attacked Amisom bases run by troops from Burundi and Uganda.

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Al-Shabab, crime news, Somali Islamist militant group, Al-Shabab kills 60 Ethiopian soldiers

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