Last June, al-Shabab militants attacked an Ethiopian base in the Somali town of Halgan, one of several raids on African Union military camps. The Ethiopian troops repelled the attack, causing massive casualties. One of the al-Shabab fighters, Mohamed Daud Mohamed, known as Mohamed Dhere, said his unit lost 45 men. "It was a difficult fight; we left behind the wounded as we didn't have a chance to evacuate them. ... Everyone ran for their lives," he told VOA's Somali service. For Dhere, 20, it was a lesson. He decided to desert al-Shabab, but said his commanders were suspicious.