News: Ethiopia says military action against Al-Shabaab continued “accompanied by victory”, hundreds killed, weapons seized

ENDF reinforcement units in Somali region. Picture: ENDF

Addis Abeba: The federal government communication service released a brief statement yesterday about the state of Al-Shabaab’s incursion into Ethiopia and said that government forces have continued engaging Al-Shabaab militants at multiple locations within the Somali region “accompanied by victory.”

The statement asserted that there was a battle with Al-Shabaab units that crossed over into Afdheer Zone of the Somali region through ‘Aato’ area in which the government has claimed victory, adding that many militants were killed and further measures were taken against 25 other militants who had escaped into hiding. 

Similarly, the communications service ministry indicated that in the Ferfer area, 85 Al-Shabaab fighters had been killed and the fleeing other members of the unit were met with force by the federal forces of Somalia. Al-Shabaab units’ heavy weaponry had been depleted while three out of four long-range radio equipment of the group had been seized. Throughout the military engagement between Al-Shabaab and federal-regional forces, 209 Al-Shabaab fighters were killed with the number of captives remaining unknown as of yet. However, no disclosures as to the number of casualties sustained by the Ethiopian side. 

In a related development, VOA reporter Harun Maruf quoted Commander of US military in Africa General Stephen Townsend as saying on Thursday that Al-Shabaab’s incursion in Ethiopia has been “largely contained” by Ethiopian forces. The Commander also said the militants moved up to 150km deep into Ethiopia, and warned it’s not a “one-off.”

It was reported on 20 June that Al-Shabaab had attacked towns close to the Ethiopian, namely Aato and Yeed, where Liyu police were encamped. Both towns are located in the Bakool region of southwestern Somalia and bordering Ethiopia. 

Addis Standard previously reported that militants entered through the Afdheer zone into the Somali region on 20 July 2022, as per the accounts of the Somali Regional State Security Council. The council detailed that more than 100 members of Al-Shabaab militants were killed in a three-day operation against the group, adding,  “13 vehicles were burnt and the weapons and supplies they [Al Shabaab] brought with them were seized”. 

On the 25th of July, reinforcement members of the ENDF were dispatched to join the Somali region’s security forces in the fight and According to Maj. Gen Tesfaye, head of deployment unit of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) and coordinator of the temporary security command post in the Somali regional state, the group attempted to attack through five different border areas, namely Yeed, Aato, El-Barde, Waqasho, and Ferfer, however, they [Al-Shabaab units] were repulsed by security forces. AS

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