Shooting between Al-Shabaab and AU forces kills three in Somalia

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Shooting between Al-Shabaab and AU forces kills three in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia – An exchange of gunfire between Al-Shabaab militants and African Union mission forces [AMISOM] from Djibouti left three children of the same family dead, which could still trigger a conviction in the nation of the Horn of Africa.

Reports indicate that Al-Shabaab militants are fighting the AMISOM troops of the Djibouti contingent in Beledweyne, in central Somalia, resulting in the deaths of three children of the same family in Somalia.

According to several sources, Al-Shabaab fighters fired mortar shells at the military base of Djibouti forces in the Howl-wadaag region, triggering a fight between the two sides. This is not the first time that militants have targeted military bases in the country.

The mortar shells landed in the families of both siblings, killing them and injuring others, sources added. It was Al-Shabaab’s mortars that killed the children, not bullets from both sides, the reports say.

The situation is already under control, but the city authorities and the Djiboutian army have not yet made a public statement on the subject. However, Al-Shabaab militants have since taken responsibility for the attack.

The Djibouti contingent has been operating in the region for nearly a decade as part of the African Union peacekeeping mission. The soldiers’ tenure will expire later this month, but there are plans to reconfigure them for a joint mission with the United Nations.

Deaths of civilians in Somalia are common in such circumstances, with the most recent in Lower Shabelle. Already, three Ugandan soldiers have been sentenced to death after it emerged that they had killed seven civilians who had no affiliation with Al-Shabaab.

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