3 Emirati armed forces members, one Bahraini officer killed in Somalia

At least five people were reported killed on Saturday in an apparent “terrorist” attack in the capital Mogadishu, and the United Arab Emirates’ defense ministry said three of the dead were Emirati soldiers and one was a Bahraini officer. A fifth fatality was presumed to be a Somali officer. 

In a post on X, the UAE Ministry of Defense said the victims were part of a mission to train Somali Armed Forces, under a program which falls within a military cooperation agreement between UAE and Somalia, the statement said.

The ministry did not give other details about the attack but said the UAE “continues to coordinate and cooperate with the Somali government in investigating” the act.

A Reuters report, quoting a Somali army officer and hospital staff as sources, said the gunman was also shot dead at the Gordon military base managed by the UAE.

“The soldier opened fire on the UAE trainers and Somali military officials when they started praying,” said the officer, who gave his name only as Ahmed.

“We understand the soldier had defected from Al-Shabab before he was recruited as a soldier by Somalia and UAE,” the officer told Reuters.

Al Shabab, linked to Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack via a statement on its Radio al Andalus and said its fighters had killed 17 soldiers.

Two nurses and a doctor at the Erdogan Hospital in Mogadishu, who asked not to be named, said about 10 injured Somali soldiers had also been brought to the hospital.

Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in a statement on state media offered his condolences to the UAE following the incident.

Al Shabab has waged an insurgency against the Somali government since 2006 to try to establish its own rule. 

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