Somali insurgents killed two African Union peacekeepers from Uganda in fierce battles earlier the week, a spokesman for the AU mission in Somalia has said Friday.
Peacekeepers from Uganda and Burundi are propping up Somalia’s weak Western-backed government as Islamist insurgent group al-Shabaab and its allies press for control of the chaotic Horn of Africa nation.
“Two of our soldiers were killed in Mogadishu’s Bondhere district and three others were injured on Wednesday,” Major Barigye Bahoku, of the peacekeeping mission known as AMISOM, told the German Press Agency dpa.
The three injured soldiers have been taken to Nairobi, the capital of neighbouring Kenya, for treatment, he added.
Al-Shabaab, which claims links to al-Qaeda, has penned the government into a few districts of Mogadishu and earlier this month launched its first attack on foreign soil.
Twin suicide blasts in the Ugandan capital Kampala killed 76 people watching the World Cup final on July 11.
Currently around 6,000 Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers are protecting the government in Somalia, although plans are afoot to reach the originally envisaged strength of 8,000.
Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni now wants to raise the strength of the force to 20,000 and change the mandate to allow the peacekeepers to go after the insurgents.
Somali has been immersed in chaos since the 1991 ouster of dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
The current insurgency, which has claimed more than 20,000 lives, kicked off in early 2007, following Ethiopia’s invasion to oust the ruling Islamist regime. USAfrica wt DPA