At least 23 die as Ethiopian troops battle Somali Islamist insurgents
Witnesses say al-Shabab group forced to retreat after hours-long border clash with army
At least 23 people have been killed in an attack on Ethiopian troops by al-Qaida-linked Somali insurgents near the two countries’ border.
Residents in Yurkud village said the battle lasted several hours. Mohamed Hussein said he had seen at least 17 dead fighters from the al-Shabab insurgency lying on the ground after the battle stopped.
“We have never seen fighting as tough as that,” he added.
Another local, Ali Barre, said he had seen six dead Ethiopian soldiers in uniform being carried past his house. The insurgents had been forced to retreat, he said.
“We have killed 73 Ethiopian soldiers and recovered 20 guns,” said an al-Shabab spokesman, Sheik Abdiaziz Abu-Musab. He said five al-Shabab fighters had been killed. The militants frequently exaggerate their victories and downplay their casualties, while the Ethiopian military never releases information on casualties.
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