NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A Kenyan soldier and five Al- Shabaab militants have been killed in a major combat between the African Union forces and insurgents in southern port city of Kismayo, military confirmed on Thursday.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna said the incident took place on Wednesday evening when the militants who had been flushed out of the strategic port city late last month attempted to establish an observation post along the Kismayo- Bulahaji road
"On Oct. 24 at 10:30 p.m. (1930 GMT), the AMISOM forces in Kismayo neutralized five Al-Shabaab militants who had attempted to set up an observation post along the Kismayu-Bulahaji road. Regrettably during the engagement KDF lost a soldier," Oguna said.
He said the Chief of the Defense Forces paid tribute to the fallen hero for his bravery and commitment in liberating Somalia.
The AMISOM forces have been very active in the past two weeks after killing more than 72 militants on Monday as they stepped up their onslaught to rid off the Horn of Africa from Al-Shabaab.
Al-Shabaab has vowed reprisal attacks in the country, 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.
Oguna said KDF which is part of the UN-backed AU peacekeeping mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and Somalia National Army (SNA) are continuing with pacification operations in the north, central and southern sectors.
"The AMISOM forces in Sector II remain committed to protect the hard won security gains in order to ensure that Somalia continues on the road to sustainable peace," he added.
The Kenyan operation code-named, Linda Nchi (Protect our Nation) , has mostly enjoyed a solid public backing for its resoluteness in dealing with the threat of the Al-Shabaab on the economic, social and political interests of Kenya.
Military projections are that the war is already almost won with most of the operational targets hit and crippled and that the group’s core commanders have been either wounded, captured and handed over to the Somali authorities.
The incursions have also been intended to target Kenyan government officials in an effort to win concessions for the Al- Shabaab’s top leadership keen on dialogue.