Barely two weeks after overrunning an African Union base manned by Ugandan soldiers in Buulo Mareer, Al-Shabaab has attempted to attack an Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) camp in southern Somalia.
The Ethiopian National Defense Forces who are not part of The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), are currently stationed in Somalia to support the Somalia government’s military campaign aimed to eliminate the terrorist group.
“The Ethiopian National Defence Forces stopped the attackers in their tracks before they could wreak havoc” the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a brief statement issued Wednesday afternoon.
“The ENDF neutralised suicide bombers and destroyed weapons to be used by the terrorist group” the statement added.
According to Somali National News agency (SONNA) the attack, which involved two vehicles, was foiled promptly by the vigilant Ethiopian security forces stationed at the base, resulting in the neutralisation of the attackers and the prevention of any casualties.
The Ethiopian government statement did noi say if the attack caused any casualties on the Ethiopian soldiers.
However, a senior member of Somalia National Army, who confirmed the incident, said the first vehicle, exploded at the entrance of the base, causing significant damage and injuring four soldiers.
But, “due to the swift and decisive actions of the Ethiopian forces, the second vehicle, was neutralized before reaching the base, averting any further harm” the source added.
The latest attack comes few days after al-Shabaab carried out similar attack on an African Union base in Somalia using Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices and suicide bombers which killed 54 Ugandan soldiers.
Last week’s deadly attack has been recorded as one of the worst attacks by Al-Shabaab againist peacekeepers in recent years.
The Ethiopian forces stationed in Somalia are part of a larger regional mobilization force deployed to engage in the second phase of Somalia-led military offensives against Al Shabab.
The Somali National Army will lead the second phase of the offensive against Al Shabab but forces from neighbouring countries of Kenya and Djibouti will also take part in the operation.
The joint military campaign aims to wipe out Al-Shabaab, which has long been a major security threat in the volatile East African region.
Today’s attack incident is said to serve as a reminder of the ongoing need for continued and collective collaboration among the regional countries to fight terrorism.
Earlier, Al-Shaaab had already claimed killing unspecifed number of soldiers during today’s attack.