News24

Somali rebel urges attacks on Kenya

2011-10-27 22:03

Mogadishu - Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels on Thursday called on its operatives in Kenya to launch reprisal attacks against Nairobi for its military assault against insurgents in the war-torn south.

"Mujahidin in Kenya including those who were trained in our military camps must fight inside Kenya," Mukhtar Robow Ali, a top Shabaab military commander told a crowd in a village near Mogadishu.

"Now is the time to act, and to act severely against the enemy - there is a need to make a huge explosion," Ali said.

"We are urging Muslims in Kenya to form their own liberation army and they will get our support. This is the time to show who you are."

Kenyan troops and tanks crossed into Shabaab-held southern Somalia 12 days ago in an unprecedented military incursion to fight rebels it blames for attacking its territory and abducting foreigners from its soil.

The hard-line Shabaab deny the charges and have threatened to retaliate.

Kenyan troops clashed heavily on Thursday with Shabaab fighters some 100km into southern Somalia.

"There has been a confrontation that is ongoing... it happened when our troops confronted about 45 Shabaab fighters," said Kenyan military spokesperson Emmanuel Chirchir.

"Nine al-Shabaab were killed with others escaping with injuries," he said, adding that two Kenyan soldiers were wounded, one critically.

Chirchir said forces also bombed a Shabaab logistical base and training camp, as ground troops sought to take Burgavo, a charcoal and fish business village under Shabaab control.