Hudur(Mogadishu24)-Fierce battle has on Sunday erupted between the Ethiopian troops under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and Al-Shabaab militants group in Booco area of Bakool region in Southern Somalia.

Al-Shabaab militants have ambushed a convoy of the Ethiopian Army, which was heading to the Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Wajid district, leading to the fight.

The mayor of Hudur, Omar Abdullahi Mohamud, confirmed the attack and reported that the Ethiopian forces were accompanied by the Somali National Army Forces.

He claimed that over 50 Al-Shabaab fighters were killed in the attack.

“The fierce fighting started after Al-Shabaab militants attacked the Ethiopian and Somali Military Convoy towards Wajid and Hudur districts. They have started the attack with explosions,” said Mr. Omar Abdullahi, the mayor of Hudur.

Al-Shabaab militants claimed the responsibilities for the attack and said to have killed at least 167 Ethiopian army soldiers under the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), although the number of casualties has not been independently confirmed.

In a press release, the terrorists organisation said its fighters have “carried out a successful against a large envoy of Ethiopian crusaders from the African Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), killing 167 crusaders and capturing others as prisoners of war.”

The statement added that the militants have seized advanced weapons and ammunitions.

The ambassador of Ethiopia to Somalia, Mukhtar Mohamed Ware, has dismissed the claims made by Al-Shabaab militant, which labelled them crusaders, describing it a ‘propaganda’.

He said that he only saw the statement on social media, stating the militants’ inability to face the Ethiopian Army.

“They tried to attack the Ethiopian forces, but they were unable to fire for more than 10 minutes against our professional Ethiopian Defense Forces. Our forces are well equipped and organized. It’s always hitting hard when it comes to Al-Shabab, so their statement is a mere propaganda against Ethiopia and its troops. Their claims are far from the truth,” said Mr. Ware, Ethiopian ambassador to Somalia.

This attack comes barely a week after the militants launched deadly attacks on the Somali National Army bases in El-Lahelay and Run Nirgod, killing dozens of soldiers and local community forces.

Al-Shabaab militants have in recent months faced strong pressure from the government’s intensified war in the parts of Hiiraan, Galgadud, and Mudug regions.

The militants have resorted to planning coordinated attacks on the Somali National Army and the Local forces ‘Ma’awisley’ in Galgadud region, as well as conducting attacks on civilians in Mogadishu to divert the government’s attention to the offensive operation.

Last month, they have launched the deadliest attack on the Somali National Army in Cowswayne attack on the army base, which has ignited public anger and calls for the President to take action against the Minister of Defense and Army chiefs who were accused of being behind these failures.

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