Group says it targeted Ethiopia’s Liyu police, a counterinsurgency force
Al-Shabaab terrorists on Friday launched a fresh attack on a Somali town located near the border with Ethiopia, officials said.
The attacks took place in the town of Aato in Bokol region near Ethiopia’s Somali region, where Liyu police, a counterinsurgency force, operates.
Officials in Bakol region, who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity, confirmed the attack, without giving any further details.
Al-Shabaab terrorists later claimed responsibility for the attack, saying they targeted a security camp in the town killing 103 Ethiopian Liyu police officers.
Witnesses said they heard heavy fighting between al-Shabaab and the security forces.
The attack comes a week after the group crossed Somali border with Ethiopia, sparking heavy gun battles.
US Africa Command commander Gen Stephen J. Townsend late Thursday said the group reached 150km inside Ethiopia before being been stopped.
Mustafe Omar, president of Somali region, said a functioning state can never be intimidated by ragtag outfits such as al-Shabaab, which is affiliated with al-Qaeda.
“Our gallant special forces are once again proving that the peace in the region is not at the mercy of terrorists,” he said.
Omar added that al-Shabaab is no longer a threat to Ethiopia, thanks to a joint operation conducted at border areas by the regional security forces in collaboration with the Ethiopian federal army, according to the Ethiopian News Agency.