Africa

Ugandan bodies flown home after Somalia al-Shabab attack

Uganda army soldiers lay national flags on the caskets carrying the remains of Ugandan soldiers who were killed in Somalia this week, at a military airbase in Entebbe on 3 September 2015 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The attack was the most fatal against Ugandan troops in Somalia

The bodies of 10 Ugandan soldiers killed in Somalia by militant Islamist group al-Shabab have been flown back home.

The attack was a "game changer", and al-Shabab should expect an "appropriate response", said an army spokesman.

Twelve Ugandan soldiers were killed in Tuesday's raid on an African Union (AU) base in southern Somalia. Al-Shabab said it had killed 50 AU troops.

Ugandan troops are part of a 22,000-strong AU force battling the militants.

In the Ugandan army's first comment on the raid, army spokesman Lt Col Paddy Ankunda said in a tweet: "We will not relent in our efforts to help in the pacification of Somalia despite the attack."

He did not give details of the other two Ugandan soldiers who were killed.

Other reports put the number of soldiers killed at the Janale base, 90km (55 miles) south-west of the capital Mogadishu, at between 20 and 50.

Residents said the attack started with a suicide car bombing at the base's gate, followed by sustained gunfire which lasted more than an hour.

Despite losing most of its key strongholds in south and central Somalia, al-Shabab continues to carry out attacks on the government and African Union troops across the country.

The militants also stage frequent suicide attacks in Mogadishu.

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