A Uganda Peoples Defense Forces (UPDF) doctor was among nine people killed when Al Qaeda linked Al Shabab terrorists infiltrated an African Union forces’ base in Somalia on Christmas day.
Uganda’s Lt. Col Dr.Kaija Christopher, died after the militants staged an attack on the force’s heavily fortified headquarters in the capital Mogadishu.
The fallen officer’s daughter only identified as Ruth Abesiga posted a heart breaking message on her Facebook wall confirming the death of Dr. Kaija.
“Dear friends, it’s unbelievably sad to communicate to you the death of my sweet dad Lt.col Dr.Kaija Christopher, he died during the Alshabab attack on Somalia. I feel so sad and weak, am not certain my life will ever be the same again. I loved my dad and he loved me too, however it’s unfortunate to lose him on Christmas. Sweet dad Akiiki wange, may your soul RIP.” Ruth wrote.
The Africa Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) AMISOM said some of the attackers were wearing Somali national army uniforms when they “breached the base camp around lunch hour and attempted to gain access to critical infrastructure”.
“Three AMISOM soldiers and a civilian contractor unfortunately lost their lives,” AMISOM said in a statement, updating earlier information that said the four had been injured in the Christmas Day attack.
The statement did not mention the nationalities of the victims, but a contingent of Ugandan soldiers is in charge of the base. Burundi, Kenya, Ethiopia and Djibouti have also contributed troops to the mission.
AMISOM said some of the attackers were wearing Somali national army uniforms when they “breached the base camp around lunch hour and attempted to gain access to critical infrastructure”.
“AMISOM has regained control of the Halane base camp and restored normalcy,” the statement added.
Al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the attack almost as soon as the first shots rang out.
“Our fighters are inside the headquarters of the foreign troops in Somalia,” Abdulaziz Abu Musab, the spokesman, told the AFP news agency earlier on Thursday, adding that several AU soldiers had been killed.
The AU base is on the edge of the compound of Mogadishu’s international airport.
The base also hosts the British and Italian embassies and is used as the headquarters for United Nations operations in Somalia.
Earlier in December, at least six people were killed when al-Shabab attacked a UN convoy near the airport.
Various armed groups have been battling for control of Somalia since the overthrow of President Siad Barre in 1991.