Al-Shabab claims attack that killed three UAE troops, a Bahraini officer in Somalia

Al-Shabab claims attack that killed three UAE troops, a Bahraini officer in Somalia

The al-Qaeda-linked militant group al-Shabab claimed an attack that killed three Emirati troops and a Bahraini military officer on a training mission at a military base in the Somali capital, authorities said Sunday.

The attack on Saturday targeted the troops at the General Gordon Military Base in Mogadishu. Details about the attack and whether it killed others remained scarce Sunday, though Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud offered his condolences to the UAE for the loss of its troops in the assault.

Early Sunday, the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency reported the killing of three of its troops and the Bahraini soldier in a “terrorist act,” without elaborating.

It added that the attack wounded two others. Bahrain, an island nation in the Arabian Gulf off the coast of Saudi Arabia, did not immediately acknowledge the attack.

Al-Shabab claimed the attack in a statement online, alleging it killed multiple people involved in the Emirati military effort.

Al-Shabab, or “the youth” in Arabic, is an extremist group in Somalia born out of that country’s years of anarchy following its 1991 civil war. The affiliate of al-Qaeda once held Mogadishu.

Over time, an African Union-led force, with the backing of the US and other countries, pushed the militants out of Mogadishu. In the years since, al-Shabab has remained a militant threat in Somalia as it seeks to overthrow the Western-backed government there.

Al-Shabab has carried out attacks in neighboring Kenya as well, since Nairobi provides troops and materiel to the African Union force in the country.

In 2019, al-Shabab claimed an attack that killed a man working for Dubai’s P&O Ports.