At least 12 officers of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) were killed in an al Shabaab ambush in Somalia on Sunday. 7 other officers sustained injuries.
The figures have been revealed by Brigadier Richard Karemire, the UPDF spokesperson in a press statement released this morning.
Brig. Karemeri writes in a statement that the al Shabaab fighters attacked a joint African Union force comprising the Somali National Army and the UPDF. Karemire says the SNA/AMISOM troops were on patrol under the 7th Battalion of Battle Group 22.
The incident took place at Gorowen between Bulumaler and Beladamini in Lower Shabelle region about 140Kms South West of Mogadishu.
The deceased and injured sons of Uganda were evacuated to Moghadishu level 2 hospital for what Karemire termed as further management and treatment.
“The statement adds that the UPDF chief of personnel is currently contacting the next of kin of the deceased and injured to inform them of the developments, while arrangements are being made to transport the deceased to their homes of origin for descent burials.”
A board of inquiry according to Brig. Karemire is being instituted to establish circumstances leading to the fateful incident.
According to the UPDF, the troops were conducting a regular patrol to secure the Mogadishu Barawe Main Supply Route (MSR) which still harbours pockets of Alshabaab insurgents.
Earlier on Sunday, Reuters quoted a senior al Shabaab military officer as saying they had killed at least 39 AMISOM troops during the Sunday morning ambush.
Battle Group 22 left early this month for Somalia where Uganda maintains over 6,000 troops as part of the African Peacekeeping Mission in Somalia (AMISON).
Uganda was the first country to deploy in Somalia in 2007, some 16 years after the country descended into anarchy following the fall of General Mohammed Siad Barre in 1991.