Ethiopia says its forces killed 66 al-Shabaab fighters in retaliatory attack

Photo: Screen grab from Etv

Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (January 20, 2019)

The Ministry of Defense said Ethiopian troops had attacked al-Shabaab bases in Somalia and killed 66 militants a day after reports said the insurgent group claimed that it had killed several Ethiopian soldiers on Friday.

The Ethiopian troops, who are in Somalia as part of the AMISOM mission, also destroyed 9 Land Cruisers loaded with heavy explosives and other vehicles in Kismayo, the Ethiopian Television reported quoting the statement by the Ministry.

“Although the group had tried an attack on our troops, a counter offensive had resulted in human casualties and material damages,” the statement by the Ministry said.

The statement by Ethiopia said the offensive on the terrorist group was conducted in collaboration with the national forces of Somalia.

On Friday, the militant group claimed that it had killed several Ethiopian troops in an ambush near the southwest town of Baidoa. The Ethiopian convoy was travelling from Burhakaba to Baidoa in Somalia’s southwest, Somali media outlets reported.

Ethiopia on Saturday confirmed the ambush by the militant group but brushed aside claims that the insurgents had killed several of its troops.

Al-Shabaab also claimed responsibility for a deadly attack at a Kenyan Hotel – DusitD2 hotel complex, that killed 21 people on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the United States said that 52 militants have been killed in an airstrike targeting militants near Jilib, Middle Juba Region, Somalia, on January 19, 2019.

The statement by the U.S. Africa Command said the airstrike was conducted in response to an attack by a large group of al-Shabaab militants against the Somali National Army Forces.

The United States has heightened its airstrikes against the jihadist group in recent months in which dozens of insurgents have been killed.