Kenya army says killed 34 Shebaab in Somalia

2016-03-20 16:23
An armed member of al-Shabaab.

An armed member of al-Shabaab.

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Nairobi - The Kenyan military said on Sunday it killed 34 Islamic insurgents in two separate battles in neighbouring Somalia this weekend.

Military spokesperson David Obonyo said two Kenyan soldiers were also killed and five others wounded when al-Shebaab militants staged an ambush in Afmadhow, southern Somalia, on Saturday afternoon.

"21 Shebaab militants were killed," Obonyo said, during what he described as a "fierce engagement".

Last week, the Kenyan army said it thwarted an attack on a military camp also at Afmadhow, killing 19 militants.

Obonyo said 13 more Shebaab fighters were killed in a separate operation on Sunday in Sarira, north of the southern port town of Ras Kamboni, in which "a middle level Shebaab commander" was also captured. In both incidents weapons, including AK47 assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades, were seized, Obonyo said.

In January, the al Qaeda-aligned Shebaab overran a Kenyan military camp in El-Adde, southern Somalia, manned by up to 200 soldiers, killing a large number of them although Nairobi has refused to say how many died.

The attack, which was widely regarded as Kenya's worst-ever military loss, was the third major assault on isolated bases manned by soldiers of the multinational African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom). Camps set up by Burundian and Ugandan troops have also been attacked with scores of soldiers killed each time.

As a result of the string of attacks Amisom forces have withdrawn from a number of towns in southern Somalia and observers say the troops are largely in garrison mode, hardly venturing out into hostile territory.

Earlier this month, the US said it carried out an air strike on a Shebaab training camp north of the Somali capital Mogadishu, killing 150 fighters - a figure disputed by the insurgents.

Read more on:    al-shebaab  |  kenya  |  somalia

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