Al-Qaeda-linked militant group Al-Shabaab said on Thursday it had killed at least 87 Ethiopian soldiers in attacks on military camps in south Somalia’s Bakol region.
Images released by the group’s media showed dead bodies of soldiers wearing uniforms of Liyu Police, a controversial counter-terrorism force established by Ethiopia’s Somali region, vehicles seized and military camps torched.
The group said it had captured the border towns of Yed and Ato in the Bakol region but did not give details on reports of a separate assault in the nearby town of Washaqo.
Ethiopian commander told Reuters news agency on condition of anonymity that 17 police officers were killed in the raids without giving further details.
In a statement on Thursday, the now defunct Ogaden Liberation Front condemned Al-Shabaab attacks and confirmed reports that insurgents crossed over the border into the Ethiopian Somali region where fighting still continues. ONLF called on regional authorities to focus on the fight against Islamist insurgents.