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Ethiopia says foils Al-Shabaab attack near border with Somalia

Ethiopia said on Wednesday it had foiled an attack by jihadist group Al-Shabaab on a town on its border with Somalia. The Ethiopian army “stopped the attackers in their tracks before they could wreak havoc” in the Ethiopia-Somalia border town of Dollo, the foreign ministry said in a Twitter post. Dollo in Ethiopia is less than three kilometres (2 miles) from its Somali twin, Doolow. The Ethiopian National Defence Forces “neutralised suicide bombers and destroyed weapons to be used by the terrorist group,” the ministry said. Authorities in the Ethiopian region of Somali, which lies close to the Somali frontier, said they killed about 100 Al-Shabaab militants who had infiltrated the Ethiopian territory. Al-Shabaab, linked to Al-Qaeda, has been waging a bloody jihadist insurgency against Somalia’s fragile central government for about 15 years. The group claimed via its communication channels that it had conducted two suicide bombings at an Ethiopian military base on the Somali side of the border according to the US monitoring group SITE. The first attack targetted “the headquarters of the local military command” while the second hit a weapons and ammunition warehouse, it said. “The two operations resulted in heavy casualties in deaths and injuries.” Al-Shabaab is known to exaggerate claims of battlefield operations for propaganda purposes. The group was driven out of Mogadishu in 2011 by an African Union force, but it still controls swathes of countryside and continues to wage deadly strikes on civilian, political and military targets. It has targeted Ethiopia in retaliation for Addis Ababa sending troops into Somalia as part of the AU force — known as ATMIS — to oust the jihadists. In mid 2022, the militants attacked several Ethiopian military camps on the border between the two countries.

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