Four-day battle between Al-Qaeda group and African Union peacekeepers kills 54 Ugandan soldiers in Somalia.
Fifty-four Ugandan soldiers were killed in a 4-day battle in Somalia last week between an Al-Qaeda group that included suicide bombers who overran an African Union peacekeepers base, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni said on Saturday.
The terror group Al-Shabab claimed it had killed 137 Ugandan soldiers in the town of Bulamarer 130 km southwest of the capital Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab is one of two radical terror groups backed by Al-Qaeda in Africa. The other is in Mali, where UN peacekeepers attached to the 15,000-strong United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA) include 250 Sri Lankan soldiers.
Museveni praised his troops for having counterattacked and recaptured the base after four days of fighting. The Ugandan troops are part of the 22,000 troops of the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS), which also include soldiers from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya.
Al-Shabab has been fighting for nearly 20 years to overthrow the government of Somalia and install a radical extremist regime based on their interpretation of Islamic law. The group has also often launched terror attacks into neighboring Kenya.