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Uganda’s Major Opio Awany killed, six soldiers wounded in Somalia roadside bomb attack

For the past two weeks ATMIS Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) engineers, officers and partners from Bankroft Global Development have detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) implanted by Al-Shabaab militants, graded and compacted the road with tractors to ensure it is accessible, safe, and secured for movement of people and goods.

For the past two weeks ATMIS Uganda People Defence Forces (UPDF) engineers, officers and partners from Bankroft Global Development have detonated Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) implanted by Al-Shabaab militants, graded and compacted the road with tractors to ensure it is accessible, safe, and secured for movement of people and goods.

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA -A Ugandan military officer serving in Somalia was killed and six other soldiers were wounded when their convoy triggered a roadside bomb on Sunday. The attack, which was blamed on al Shabaab fighters, occurred in the village of Ceel-Werigow, around 70km southwest of the capital Mogadishu.

Major Patrick Opio Awany, who was commanding the convoy, was killed in the explosion. The convoy was heading from Mogadishu to Ceeljale in the Lower Shabelle region.

The attack is the latest in a series of incidents targeting African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) and Somali National Armed Forces (SNAF) personnel.

On July 8, a joint ATMIS-UPDF and SNAF logistics convoy was hit by a Command Wire Improvised Explosive Device (CWIED) along the Mogadishu-Buffow-Barawe route, claiming two lives and injuring personnel from both ATMIS and SNAF.

ATMIS has condemned the attacks and reiterated its commitment to supporting peace and security efforts in Somalia. “This incident strengthens our resolve to support peace and security efforts in Somalia,” said ATMIS in a statement.

Uganda has about 5,000 troops serving in Somalia under the ATMIS peacekeeping mission. Al Shabaab has been fighting for more than a decade to topple Somalia’s central government and install its rule based on its strict interpretation of Islamic sharia law.

The attacks highlight the ongoing security challenges in Somalia, where ATMIS and SNAF have been working together to counter terrorist groups such as al Shabaab.

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