Ethiopian forces to launch major counterattack against al-Shabab: statement

   ADDIS ABABA, Jan. 19-- Ethiopian forces are preparing to launch a major counterattack against Somali terrorist group al-Shabab, according to a statement released on Saturday.  
   In a press statement, the Ethiopia Defense Forces (EDF) said the counterattack will be in retaliation for an attack Friday on an Ethiopian military convoy near Burhakaba town of Somalia.
   The EDF statement said Ethiopian soldiers were able to withstand the al-Shabab attack and return to their nearby bases.  
   Al-Shabab claimed the Friday attack killed more than 50 Ethiopian soldiers.
   The statement from EDF didn't mention any possible Ethiopian casualties from the attack. 
   Ethiopia has several thousand troops in Somalia as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeping forces, tasked with countering the al-Shabab threat.
   The AMISOM forces are also tasked with restoring peace to violence wracked parts of Somalia.Xinhua