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Army Sources Claim More Than 12 UPDF Soldiers Died In Al Shabab Attack

There is still controversy over the exact number of Ugandan soldiers killed in Somalia by the al Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants during their July 30 attack.

The Ugandan soldiers were killed in an ambush by the insurgents during an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) patrol. The ambush spot is reported as Gorowen, an area between the townships of Bulumaler and Beladamini in Lower Shabelle region, 140 kilometres southwest of the capital Mogadishu.

The al-Shabaab claimed that they killed 39 out of the 59 Ugandan soldiers who were in the patrol, but the Ugandan army insists 12 soldiers died in the attack with seven others injured, some seriously.

Despite the UPDF claim of 12 dead, the number could be higher than is being claimed.

Sources in Somalia, international agencies and sources within the UPDF told local news agency URN off the record that 21 UPDF soldiers died in that attack and nine others were injured. The sources further reveal that by late evening on July 30, at least 19 bodies were kept at the Level 2 Hospital in Mogadishu.

The attack has reignited the discussion on how the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) manages its casualty numbers.

On Wednesday, 2nd August, 12 caskets the army said contained the remains of the 12 soldiers were brought to Uganda.

Speaking at a ceremony of receiving the bodies at the UPDF Airforce base in Entebbe, Army Spokesman, Brig Richard Karemire, said the soldiers “died a dignified death”, adding that “that is how men and women should die”.

URN

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