The Uganda Peoples Defence Forces UPDF say they are yet to establish the number of casualties following an al Shabaab ambush in Somalia earlier today. Earlier today, Reuters quoted a senior al Shabaab military officer as saying they had killed at least 39 AMISOM troops during the Sunday morning ambush.
Brigadier Richard Karemire, the UPDF spokesperson says in a statement that the al Shabaab fighters attacked a joint African Union force comprising the Somali National Army and the UPDF. Karemire says the SNA/AMISOM troops were on patrol under the 7th Battalion of Battle Group 22.
The incident took place at Gorowen between Bulumaler and Beladamini in Lower Shabelle region about 140Kms South West of Mogadishu.
According to the UPDF, the troops were conducting a regular patrol to secure the Mogadishu Barawe Main Supply Route (MSR) which still harbours pockets of Alshabaab insurgents.
"A lot of damage was inflicted on the enemy while our troops took fatalities whose number is yet to be ascertained and will be made known as the situation evolves," Brig Karemire says.
Earlier today, Reuters quoted a senior al Shabaab military officer as saying they had killed at least 39 AMISOM troops during the Sunday morning ambush.
"We have in hand 39 dead bodies of AU soldiers including their commander," Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's military operation spokesman, told Reuters.
Battle Group 22 left early this month for Somalia where Uganda maintains over 6,000 troops as part of the African Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISON). Uganda was the first country to deploy in Somalia in 2007, some 16 years after the country descended into anarchy following the fall of General Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991.
On September 1, 2015, a deadly attack at the UPDF-manned base of Janale, about 90km southeast of Mogadishu, left at least 19 soldiers killed according to official Uganda government accounts. Different government officials however kept giving conflicting reports about the attack as international media put the number of dead at close to 50. One soldier, Private Masasa, was taken alive by the militants only to be executed in January this year.
A December 25, 2014 al Shabaab attack on the Amisom senior officers' mess in Mogadishu left three soldiers dead.
In August 2010, four UPDF soldiers died when the al Shabaab fighters attacked the presidential palace in Mogadishu. In this particular attack, 86 Somali soldiers perished while the enemy lost 70 fighters.
In another deadly attack on September 17, 2009 at the AMISOM headquarters in Mogadishu, at least six UPDF soldiers died. This particular attack also claimed the life of a senior Burundian officer, Major Gen Juvenal Niyoyunguriza, then serving as the overall deputy Amisom force commander. Major Gen Nathan Mugisha, the then overall commander was also injured.