UAE military officers killed in Somalia identified

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - The government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has confirmed the names of the officers killed in the deadly al-Shabab attack within General Gordon's military training facility while condemning the attack which caught security agencies napping.

On Sunday, the government of UAE confirmed the death of the fourth officer who succumbed to severe injuries while undergoing treatment in a Mogadishu hospital. This is the worst attack targeting a military camp within the country in as many years, officials said.

The four UAE officers were named as Colonel Mohamed Al Mansouri, Warrant Officer 1 Mohamed Al Shamsi, Warrant Officer 1 Khalifa Al Balushi, and Corporal Suleiman Al Shehhi. They were responsible for training of elite Somali National Army (SNA) officers.

Their bodies arrived in Abu Dhabi on Sunday for interment amid condemnation across the world, with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud calling for immediate actions against the militants who executed the heinous act.

UAE also reported that an officer from the Bahrain Defence Force was also killed in the attack. Once the officers are trained by UAE, they are sent to Ethiopia and Uganda for advanced military training, a source privy to the arrangement confirmed.

Al-Shabaab took responsibility for the attack but the motive was not immediately made public, although the group has been targeting foreign troops. Apart from the UAE, the United States and Turkey train elite troops in Somalia.

The government of Somalia has intensified the fight against Al-Shabaab and within the next ten months, the military is set to take over security responsibilities from the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and US Africa Command.

GAROWE ONLINE

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