Confusion over UPDF casualties in Somalia

GYAGENDA KABUUBI

There is still confusion in regard of the exact number of UPDF soldiers that died in Sunday’s clashes with the Al-Shabaab militants in Lower Shabelle region of Somalia.

According to a statement released by UPDF spokesman Brig Richard Karemire late on Sunday evening, the UPDF lost four soldiers and six others sustained minor injuries.

This followed clashes between UPDF soldiers under the African Union peace keeping force in Somalia  (AMISOM) with the Al-Shabaab who attacked the AMISOM Forward Operating Bases at Quoroyole, Buulo Mareer and Golwen in Lower Shabelle Region of  Somalia.

“Eight of their vehicles that included two Vehicle Born Improvised Explosives were destroyed,” Karemire said.

In the statement, Karemire reported that 22 Al-Shabaab militants were killed. Later on in a tweet, Karemire said, the number of the Al-Shabaab casualties had risen to 30.

Military equipment captured by UPDF

Karemire also said that the UPDF had captured a cache of military equipment that included, 4 PK Rifles, 2 Rocket Propelled Guns, 2 Recoiless Guns,1 Walkie Talkie and 18 Sub Machine Gun Rifles.

However, according to The Guardian a UK based newspaper, 46 Ugandan soldiers were killed in the Sunday attacks.

Quoting Somali officials including Col Abdi Nur Hash, The Guardian reports that the Al-Shabaab militants detonated a suicide car bomb at the gate of the Ugandan army base in Bulamarer before storming into the complex. A second suicide car bomb targeted a convoy of Ugandan army reinforcements coming from a nearby base.

UPDF has however dismissed the report as mere Al-Shabaab propaganda.
“We have pictorial evidence, what do they have?” Wondered Lt Col Deo Akiiki, the deputy UPDF spokesman.