Ethiopia readies for al-Shabaab offensive in Somalia

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The Ethiopian National Defence Force is preparing for an offensive on al-Shabaab extremists in neighboring Somalia following an ambush on an Ethiopian peacekeeping convoy.

The ambush was reported as the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the deadly hotel assault in Nairobi and deadly attacks on forces inside Somalia.

The statement released by the Ethiopian National Defense Force does not say exactly when the ambush occurred or the exact number of casualties.

Ethiopia contributes troops to a multinational African Union (AU) peacekeeping mission. It also has troops in Somalia independently under Ethiopian army command.

The statement says the ambush occurred when the Ethiopian convoy was traveling Burhakaba to Baidoa in Somalia’s southwest.

Al-Shabaab has never managed to orchestrate a major attack inside the Ethiopian heartland, though it has carried out major attacks in neighbouring Kenya.

In late October, al-Shabab claimed killing 30 Ethiopian troops inside Somalia.

Weeks before that, Ethiopian state media outlets reported that the Ethiopian Air Force killed 70 al-Shabaab members after the extremist group tried to attack Ethiopian forces.

Source: CGTN Africa