The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers on Saturday killed 21 Al-Shabaab militants in a shootout in Lower Juba Region in Somalia and recovered weapons. Two KDF soldiers also died in the shootout on Saturday afternoon. The KDF also recovered 19 AK-47 rifles, three rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and a pistol.
The KDF spokesman Col David Obonyo said that a convoy of KDF soldiers operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) were on their way to Afmadow when they engaged Al-Shabaab militants who had laid an ambush in the Lower Juba Region. “Regrettably, KDF suffered two fatalities and five injuries,” Col Obonyo said. During the fierce engagement, Col Obonyo said, the overpowered Al-Shabaab militants resorted to the use of improvised explosive devices (IED), damaging one of the KDF vehicles. Five soldiers were injured and were evacuated.
“The injured were evacuated and [are] receiving medical attention,” he said. On Wednesday last week, the KDF also killed 19 Al-Shabaab militants in Afmadow. The KDF personnel recovered a vehicle, 10 AK-47 rifles and three RPGs.
The militants are said to have planned to attack a camp occupied by the Amisom and Somali National Army (SNA) troops in Afmadow, Lower Juba Region. “The Al-Shabaab terrorists had approached the camp at night with the intention to attack and cut off the SNA from Amisom (KDF) camp.
“KDF soldiers on patrol identified the militants and engaged them in a fierce battle,” Col Obonyo said. Last Wednesday’s shooting came just two weeks after a US drone strike killed more than 150 Al-Shabaab militants at a training camp where a large scale attack was being planned.
“We know they were going to be departing the camp and they posed an imminent threat to US and [African Union] forces,” spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said. Additionally on Sunday, KDF has added yet another success after killing 13 Al-Shabaab militants at Sarira in Lacta Belt, 30km north of Ras Kamboni.
Spokesperson Col David Obonyo said that the extremists were pursued “following information of an intended probe attack. Following the incident, a middle level Al-Shabaab Commander has been detained.” Also, eight AK 47 rifles, two PKM machine guns, two Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG) and ammunition were confiscated.