KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — The flag-draped coffins of Ugandan soldiers killed in an attack by Islamic extremists on an African Union base in Somalia were offloaded from a cargo plane in Uganda on Thursday as troops stood at attention. A military official said 12 Ugandan soldiers had been killed.
All soldiers who were at the base that was attacked on Tuesday have been accounted for and none was captured, military spokesman Lt. Col. Paddy Ankunda told The Associated Press.
Al-Shabab claimed it killed 50 Ugandan soldiers at the base in the farming town of Janale in southern Somalia. Uganda’s Ministry of Defense said in a statement that Ugandan soldiers captured two of the attackers and killed 46 of them.
A U.N. plane carrying the bodies of 10 of the Ugandans killed in Janale arrived at a military base in the Ugandan airport town of Entebbe, where caskets covered with the Uganda flag were carried by soldiers and then driven away in ambulances.
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Uganda’s top military official, Gen. Katumba Wamala, traveled to Janale on Wednesday to assess and offer tactical guidance following the attack, the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia, known as AMISOM, said in a statement.
In 2007, Uganda became the first African country to send troops to Somalia to back up the country’s weak federal government. Ethiopia, Djibouti Kenya and Burundi have also contributed troops to the peacekeeping mission.