Saturday, March 2News That Matters

Shabaab fighters killed as ATMIS retaliates attack on UPDF base.

A joint African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) force has killed several Al Shabaab fighters in a retaliatory attack on the terrorists who last week attacked a UPDF forward operating base in Buulo Mareer.
In a statement on Monday evening, ATMIS said they successfully pursued the fleeing terrorists who had earlier been involved in the attack and scores killed.
“ATMIS and Somalia National Army troops have successfully pursued the fleeing Al-Shabaab terrorists involved in the ATMIS forward operating base attack in Buulo Mareer. A substantial number of the terrorists have been eliminated,” ATMIS said in a brief statement.
They said the joint force also retrieved multiple weapons which had been looted from the forward operating base.
“ATMIS remains committed to fighting terrorism and will continue working closely with the Federal Government of Somalia, federal member states, and international partners to secure Somalia.”
The attack
UPDF’s forward operating base in Buulo Mareer, approximately 120km southwest of Mogadishu in Lower Shabelle region was attacked by Al Shabaab militants using vehicle borne improvised explosive devices and suicide bombers .
Several Ugandan soldiers were killed during the attack whereas others were taken as prisoners of war.
President Museveni on Saturday said the terrorist outfit would pay for its actions on the Ugandan forces.
“The operations are continuing and they will regret their actions. Condolences to the country and the families of those who died,” Museveni said in a long statement.
The president however didn’t avoid blaming his own troops for what he termed as panicking during the attack and that this could have exacerbated the matter.
“The panic, it seems, was totally unnecessary because, in fact, both the anti-tank ditch and our soldiers had destroyed the three vehicles of explosives outside the FOB. The suicide bombers or whatever, were forced to blow themselves up before they gained entry into the base.”
He added, “ Those defences are quite strong although they are guarded by light weapons. There were two tanks, two 14.5mm anti- air-craft guns and a 107mm Katyusha rocket launcher. Some of the soldiers there did not perform as expected and panicked, which disorganized them and the Al-Shabaab took advantage of that to overran the base and destroy some of the equipment.”

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