Deadly Al-Shabaab Attack Kills UAE and Bahraini Military Trainers in Mogadishu

At least four military trainers, including three from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and one from Bahrain, were killed at a military training camp in the capital city of Mogadishu. President Hassan Sheikh confirmed the tragic loss of life and called for decisive action against the perpetrators, who had infiltrated the camp and opened fire.

The UAE Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued a statement confirming the incident, stating that three UAE military trainers and one Bahraini officer were killed at Gen. Gordon’s military training facility in Mogadishu. The attack, classified as a terrorist act, has drawn widespread condemnation and raised concerns about security in the region.

“The UAE Ministry of Defence has announced the martyrdom of three members of the UAE Armed Forces and an officer from the Bahrain Defence Force, along with the injury of two others, in a terrorist act in the Republic of Somalia,” reported UAE state media.

The trainers had been fulfilling their mission to train and enhance the capabilities of the Somali Armed Forces as part of a bilateral agreement between the UAE and Somalia, aimed at strengthening military cooperation between the two countries. The MoD expressed deep condolences to the families of the fallen officers and wished a swift recovery to the injured.

The UAE Ministry of Defence reiterated its commitment to working closely with the Somali government to investigate the heinous act of terrorism. Reports indicate that the attacker had gained access to the camp from within, targeting the advisors who resided in the highly fortified airport area but regularly visited the training camp to oversee the training of Somali soldiers.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud immediately ordered security agencies to conduct a swift investigation into the attack and vowed to take strong action against those responsible. He offered his heartfelt condolences to the families of the slain trainers, condemning the act in the strongest terms.

“I strongly condemn this horrible act that took the lives of these officers who sacrificed their time and lives for the liberation of our country and the rebuilding of our forces,” stated President Mohamud. He emphasized the need for an urgent investigation by the security forces, assuring the nation that strict measures would be taken against the organizers of this heinous act.

President Mohamud also highlighted the significance of the UAE officers’ presence in Mogadishu, as they played a crucial role in the rebuilding of the Somali army. There have been conflicting reports about the identity of the shooter, with some suggesting that the attacker belonged to a specialized protection unit within the camp.

Another account suggests that the shooter was a recruit who had been undergoing firing exercises at the camp, according to VOA Somali. The incident occurred in or around the camp’s mosque, where the training activities were taking place.

Somalia has been intensifying its efforts to combat the Al-Shabaab terrorist group within the country, with foreign troops also providing vital support in training and equipping local forces. The country has set the goal of completely eradicating the militants by December 2024.

The attack on the military trainers underscores the ongoing challenges and security concerns faced by Somalia and the need for continued international support in the fight against terrorism.

The loss of these dedicated officers serves as a poignant reminder of the sacrifices made in the pursuit of peace and stability in the region.

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