Ethiopian forces clash with al Shabaab in western Somalia, residents say

MOGADISHU (Reuters) - Ethiopian forces engaged in fierce clashes with al Shabaab fighters near the town of Rab Dhuure in western Somalia on Sunday morning, local residents said.

At around 9 a.m. (0600 GMT) local residents heard large explosions followed by a heavy near the town of Rab Dhuure in Bakool region, around 20 km (12 miles) from the Ethiopia border.

Al Shabaab claimed to have ambushed a large convoy of Ethiopian troops, who are operating in the area as part of regional efforts to wipe out the al Qaeda-affiliated group.

"We heard about three huge explosions and then an exchange of heavy guns followed," said local resident Hassan Abdulle.

"It was a fierce fighting with shells and other weapons but we don't know the details," said Fatuma Ali, who lives in Rab Dhuure.

Ethiopia's army and Somali authorities did not respond to requests for comment.

In February Djibouti, Ethiopia and Kenya agreed to begin what they described as "search and destroy" operations against al Shabaab, in addition to the African Union-mandated peacekeeping force, which is expected to leave Somalia by the end of next year.

(Reporting by Abdi Sheikh; Writing by Hereward Holland; Editing by Susan Fenton)

Subscribe now to our Premium Plan for an ad-free and unlimited reading experience!

Next In World

German automotive supplier ZF increases focus on China: board member
Natural disasters affect over 407 mln people in Africa between 2000-2022: UNECA
Health risks surge in UK due to climate change: report
EU provides 18 mln USD to support displaced persons from Sudan
BRICS tuberculosis research summit opens in South Africa's Durban
Xu Jiayu, Zhang Yufei win at China's National Swimming Championships
18 killed, 27 injured in central Nigeria road crash
Feature: Kenya's railway evolution fuels nation's renewal
Polish drivers lift blockade at one border crossing with Ukraine, says Kyiv
Sudanese warring parties throw cold water on African mediation gains

Others Also Read