Somalia:Shabab militants clash with peacekeepers

Takfiri al-Shabab terrorists have clashed with Kenyan soldiers at a military base in a remote southwestern region of Somalia.

A spokesman for the al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group claimed on Friday that its combatants killed at least 66 Kenyan soldiers at the base in Kulbiyow, near the Kenyan border. He also said the militants were in control of the base.

The Kenyan army, which is responsible for establishing security in Somalia’s Lower and Middle Jubba, dismissed the allegations, calling them “incorrect.”

“Al-Shabab is known for propaganda, whatever they are saying about the attack is incorrect, including the number,” spokesman for Kenyan defense forces, Colonel Paul Njugunam, said.

He also said that “scores” of the Takfiri militants had been killed in the clashes, which he said were still going on.

“Once the operation is over, we will have concrete details and numbers,” Njugunam said, adding, “It was a bad day for al-Shabab.”

The military base in Kulbiyow is run by the African Union Mission In Somalia (AMISOM) comprising of soldiers from various African states mandated to support the central government fight militancy in the conflict-stricken country, located in the in the Horn of Africa.

The al-Shabab militant group, which once had control over many parts of Somalia, including the capital city Mogadishu, aims to topple the weak central government and push out the African Union (AU) peacekeeping forces, which is made up of soldiers from Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda, Ethiopia, and other African countries.

In 2011, AMISOM and Somali troops drove al-Shabab out of all major urban strongholds and ports, but the group still stages attacks on targets in smaller, more remote areas, posing a threat to peace.

By Africafrique and agencies

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