Addis Ababa, July 25, 2022 (Walta) – Authorities in the Somali Regional State of Ethiopia said that they had “destroyed” fighters from the Al-Shabaab Islamist group, in a rare militant incursion from neighboring Somalia.
Somali’s state communication bureau in a statement said Al-Shabaab group that crossed into the southeastern region on Tuesday “was surrounded in a locality called Hulhul are completely destroyed”.
A three-day operation left more than 100 members of the militant group dead and destroyed 13 vehicles, it added.
The authorities said the armed group was seeking to pass through El-Kere district in the Somali region of Ethiopia, more than 100 kilometers from the Somalia-Ethiopian border.
“A united people and functioning state can never be intimidated by ragtag outfits like Al-Shabaab. Our gallant special forces are once again proving that the peace in the region is not at the mercy of terrorists….” said Chief Administrator of the Somali Regional of Ethiopia Mustafe Muhamed in a twitter post yesterday.
Last Thursday, officials and residents of Bakool Region of Somali Republic, on the border with neighboring Somalia, reported Al-Shabaab attacks the previous day against bases hosting a special Ethiopian police unit which helps protect the frontier.
An Islamist group linked to Al-Qaeda, Al-Shabaab has led an insurrection against Somalia’s federal government for 15 years.
An African Union force with soldiers from five countries including neighbors Ethiopia and Kenya has supported the government in its fight against the insurgents.
The movement has been ousted from Somalia’s main urban areas, including the capital Mogadishu in 2011, but remains entrenched in vast swathes of the countryside.
Attacks beyond Somalia’s borders are rare and have mostly targeted Kenya, notably a bloody assault on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping Centre in 2013 which left 67 people dead.
An attack on Garissa University in 2015 killed 148 people and another incident at a Nairobi hotel complex in 2019 left 21 dead.