American pilots told to stay at arm’s length in Ethiopia

The U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa has warned American pilots they may be at risk of facing weapons fire from an Ethiopia-based rebel group in the country’s western Shebelle region, NBC News reported.

“Recent reports of attacks on Ethiopian military positions in the Shebelle region may be attributable to al-Shabaab,” the embassy said in an Aug. 20 email alert, according to NBC News.

“U.S. military pilots flying in and out of Ethiopia are advised to be aware of movement of government forces in those areas and to maintain a safe distance,” the email said.

The group fighting the government in Ethiopia, known as al-Shabaab, which is opposed to the Horn of Africa nation’s Western-backed government, has claimed responsibility for targeting police stations in the region, according to an Al Jazeera report.

A tweet posted from the embassy’s account Tuesday said: “U.S. military pilots flying in and out of Ethiopia are advised to be aware of movement of government forces in those areas and to maintain a safe distance.”

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