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Al-Shabaab: bodies of UAE soldiers returned to Abu Dhabi

Bodies of UAE soldiers killed in Somalia arrive in Abu Dhabi.   -  
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The United Arab Emirates on Sunday held an honor guard ceremony in Abu Dhabi for three Emirati troops killed in Somalia the day before.

The soldiers, as well as a Bahraini military officer, were killed in an attack by the al-Qaida linked group al-Shabaab at the General Gordon Military Base in the capital Mogadishu.

A fourth soldier later died en route back to the Emirates according to the the UAE's state-run WAM news agency.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud offered his condolences to the UAE for the loss of its troops.

Al-Shabaab claimed the attack in a statement online, describing the UAE as an enemy of Shariah law for backing the Somali government's fight against them.

The Sunni Islamic extremist group which formed in 2006 once held Mogadishu. 

It has been pushed out of the capital in recent years by an African Union-led force, backed by the United States and other countries,  in recent years but it continues to pose a threat to the country's stability.

The group still controls half of Somalia's territory, and continues to claim attacks on the capital.

The withdrawal of the AU mission this year risks allowing al-Shabaab to regain its losses, experts have warned.

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