Saturday, September 01, 2012
NAIROBI, Sept. 1 (Xinhua) -- The Africa Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) killed at least 36 Al-Shabaab militia late Friday as the troops took over Miido town in a fierce exchange of fire that last several hours in southern Somalia.
Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said on Saturday that five KDF soldiers are missing in action while three sustained injuries and have been flown to Dhobley to receive treatment.
"AMISOM forces together with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia soldiers in Sector 2 captured Miido town and neutralized at least 36 Al-Shabaab militants," Chirchir said in his official Twitter account.
Chirchir said that during the battle with the insurgents, AMISOM forces comprising of Kenyan and Somali soldiers also managed to destroy seven Al-Shabaab technical vehicles and logistic supplies while other assorted weapons and ammunitions were recovered.
The development came as the military has stepped up security along Kenya's common border with Somalia following an outbreak of fighting between AMISOM forces and the Al-Shabaab militia.
The Kenyan forces currently under the command of AMISOM are dealing with specific targets against the Al-Shabaab, but security had been reinforced on the Kenyan side of the border.
Sources said that during the battle, the Kenyan fighter jets and helicopter gunships fired bombs at the militants inflicting heavy injuries on the militants.
The sources said hundreds of the insurgents blamed for bomb and grenade attacks on the Kenyan soil including abduction of foreigners had left the strategic port city of Kismayo to prevent Kenyan and Somalia forces from deriving them from their last stronghold.
The AMISOM forces have been very active this week after killing more than 40 militants earlier in the week as they stepped up their onslaught to rid off the Horn of Africa from Al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab has vowed reprisal attacks in Kenya, mainly targeting security forces in border towns of northern Kenya where dozens of people have been killed in landmine and grenade attacks blamed on the militant group.
Al-Shabaab has said it views the presence of Kenyan troops in southern Somalia as an act of war.
The group which has teamed up with global terror network al Qaida is now vowing an all-out war in Kenya, in protest against the military incursion "against our brothers in Somalia."
Kenya has seen several hit-and-run grenade attacks in recent months in the capital, Nairobi, and in northern Kenya and in the port city of Mombasa. The Kenyan authorities often blame such attacks on al Qaida-affiliated Al-Shabaab rebels from neighboring Somalia.
The east African nation launched cross-border incursion into Somalia last October in pursuit of the militants blamed for a series of grenade and landmine attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and northern region.
The authorities have called on Kenyans to be vigilant over terror attacks because of higher numbers of foreign fighters who sneaked into the country.