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Dublin: 9 °C Wednesday 20 November, 2019

Al-Shabab display bodies of African Union peacekeepers

The fighters displayed around 70 bodies of the troops after a battle in Mogadishu yesterday.

African Union peacekeepers are seen in the Deynile district of the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, yesterday
African Union peacekeepers are seen in the Deynile district of the capital Mogadishu, Somalia, yesterday
Image: Ali Bashi/AP/Press Association Images

AL-SHABAB FIGHTERS have displayed what they say are bodies of African Union fighters in Mogadishu.

But spokesman for the African Union said that the Somalian insurgents had dressed up the bodies for propaganda, Associated Press reports.

The African Union says 10 soldiers were killed and two are missing after intense fighting with Somali insurgents.

Spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda said that casualties occurred when AU soldiers took the last neighborhood held by Somali insurgents in Mogadishu on Thursday.

Residents told the Press Association that the Islamist insurgency used the area as an execution ground and for carrying out amputations.

He said that two soldiers were missing and an armoured vehicle had been burned.

Al-Shabab spokesman Sheik Ali Mohamud Rage said they had killed 70 AU soldiers.

Many of those displayed wore flak jackets and helmets — equipment that is issued to AU soldiers but not government troops or insurgents.

Al Jazeera reports that al-Shabab commander Abu Omar said that 150 Burundian soldiers were killed in the battle and that 76 of the bodies are in the group’s custody.

It also says that after al-Shabab fighters abandoned their positions in Mogadishu, African Union troops and government forces have been pushing into the remaining areas.

Meanwhile, US officials were surprised by Kenyan troops entering Somalia last weekend. Officials told the Associated Press that the Americans had not been informed before the troops entered the country.

The Somalia operation is Kenya’s biggest foreign military commitment since independence in 1963.

- Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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