Kenya, Somalia to step up war against terrorism

Kenya, Somalia to step up war against terrorism

Thursday, March 23, 2017 5:12 pm

al-Shabaab militants on parade

Kenyan and Somali leaders Thursday vowed to scale up war against terrorism by dealing ruthlessly with Al-Shabaab militants, who have been increasing terror attacks in the two countries.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed agreed that the fight against Al-Shabaab must continue until they are no longer a threat.

“Al-Shabaab remains ready to kill innocent people in both Kenya and Somalia,” Kenyatta told journalists after holding bilateral talks with the Somali leader in Nairobi.

Kenyan soldiers who are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) have been battling the militant group in southern Somalia since 2011 when they launched cross-border operations over abduction of foreigners and frequent terror attacks on Kenyan soil.

President Mohamed, on his part, has lauded Kenya for the prominent role it has played in the fight against Al-Shabaab through the AMISOM.

NAN reports that on March 2, Kenyan soldiers killed 57 militants from the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab in fighting in Somalia.

According to the Army’s statement, Kenyan troops belonging to the African Union contingent in Somalia used artillery fire supported by helicopter gunships in Afmadow in the south.

The army did not say whether any Kenyan soldiers were killed.

However, the statement could not be independently verified.

Kenyan troops form part of a 20,000-strong AMISOM contingent helping Somalia battle al-Shabaab.

Kenya has suffered serious attacks from the radical Islamists in Somalia, the latest in January, when Kenya admitted to losing nine soldiers while al-Shabaab claimed to have killed about 60 Kenyan troops.

According to the Somali government, another attack a year earlier could have killed up to 180 Kenyan soldiers.

However, Nairobi has not released a death toll for the attack.

NAN recalls that on Jan. 27, Al-Shabaab attacked a Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) camp at Kulbiyow in southern Somalia with casualties feared.

Security officials from both Kenya and Somalia confirmed that KDF troops who are part of the AMISOM destroyed two suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices (SVBIED) which were used by the militants.

There were no more details concerning the number of casualties in the attack which took place at Kulbiyow, an area near Kenya’s border with Somalia.


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