MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – At least three military officers with the armed forces of the United Arab Emirates and an officer from Bahrain were among soldiers killed in Al-Shabaab-claimed attack at an army base in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu on Saturday, UAE Ministry of Defense said.
The officers were “fulfilling their mission to train and qualify the Somali Armed Forces as part of a bilateral agreement between the United Arab Emirates and the Republic of Somalia”, it added in a statement.
Al-Qaeda-aligned insurgency group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack, which had taken place at General Gordon Military Academy in Mogadishu. The assault was carried out by a soldier who had recently completed training, who opened fire at a gathering of Emirati and other foreign military officials, according to local media.
At least 17 officers, including the highest-ranking Emirati military official in Somalia and others in charge of training, intelligence and logistics were among those killed, Al-Shabaab said in a statement. The group added that other “white and black mercenaries” were among the dead.
There has been no independent confirmation of the claim by the insurgent group. But former deputy mayor of Mogadishu Ali Yare, said in a Facebook post that the highest-ranking Emirati military official in Somalia was killed along with at least 10 other officers in the assault.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, whose government receives military and financial support from the UAE, condemned the attack and sent condolences to the victims, their families and Abu Dhabi’s government.
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