The United Arab Emirates (UAE) Defense Ministry confirmed on Sunday that three soldiers from the UAE Armed Forces and an officer from the Bahrain Defense Force were killed in an attack on a military base in Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital. The attack occurred at the General Gordon military base on Saturday night.
According to the ministry, UAE personnel were providing training to soldiers from the Somali Armed Forces as part of an agreement between the UAE and Somalia. Two others were injured in the attack.
An army officer informed Reuters that the assailant was a newly trained Somali soldier who opened fire on UAE trainers and Somali military officials while they were praying.
Al-Shabaab, an al Qaeda-linked terror group, claimed responsibility for the attack via a statement on its Radio al Andalus. The army official revealed that the perpetrator had defected from al-Shabaab before being recruited as a soldier by Somalia and the UAE.
Al-Shabaab has been designated as a terrorist group by the US since 2008 and by a UN Security Council committee since 2010.
Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud condemned the attack and instructed Somalia’s security agencies to conduct a thorough investigation.
The UAE pledged to cooperate with the Somali government in investigating the incident, reiterating its commitment to combat terrorism and maintain peace and stability in the region.