UAE mourns fallen troops as bodies return from Somalia following deadly attack

Published: February 11, 2024

The bodies of three Emirati armed forces members were repatriated on Sunday to Abu Dhabi following their killing in an attack in Somalia, the UAE’s Ministry of Defense announced.

A fourth Emirati serviceman, who was among two injured in the attack, succumbed to injuries upon his return to the UAE, the ministry said in its statement.

An earlier statement from the ministry had said that three Emirati armed forces personnel and a member of the Bahrain Defense Force were killed in the incident.

At Al Bateen Executive Airport, an official military ceremony was conducted, attended by dignitaries who paid their respects to the fallen soldiers, their coffins draped with the Emirati flag.

The fallen troops were identified by the defense ministry as Colonel Mohamed al-Mansouri, Warrant Officers Mohamed al-Shamsi and Khalifa al-Balushi, and Corporal Suleiman al-Shehhi.

Bahrain, meanwhile, mourned the loss of Major Abdullah Rashid al-Noaimi, who was killed in the attack, according to the Bahrain News Agency.

The UAE Defense Ministry said in its previous statement that the personnel were targeted “in a terrorist attack in Somalia while performing their work duties in training and qualifying the Somali Armed Forces, which falls within the bilateral agreement between the UAE and Somalia within the framework of military cooperation between the two countries.”

Al-Shabab, a militant group with ties to al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for the attack.

The group has waged a violent insurgency against Somalia’s central government and its foreign backers for over 15 years.