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How KDF fought 10-hour battle to save ill-fated camp

By David Ohito
Updated Thu, January 21st 2016 at 00:00 GMT +3
First batch of bodies of KDF soldiers killed in an attack on their camp in Somalia arrive at Wilson airport on Monday night.

NAIROBI: Gallant survivors of the terror attack on Kenya Defence Forces camp in Somalia have pieced together a blowby-blow account of Friday’s deadly dawn attack. The 10-hour mission by the Al Shabaab terrorists – that started at the crack of dawn and was only degraded after 2pm - was fronted by three rows of suicide bombers, Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices and hardened Al Shabaab foot soldiers, which made it extremely difficult for the Kenyan peacekeepers to ward off the ambush.

The attack was carried out in three waves (a military term used to describe formation of troops) using heavy gunfire that breached one side of Kenyan camp, leaving dozens of soldiers dead and several others injured.

The militia looted ammunition including assets such as military vehicles after the bloody attack mission at El Adde KDF camp, according to details contained in a document entitled ‘The Elade Truth’ seen by The Standard.

The KDF soldiers, who survived the three successive suicide bomb attacks and blasts packed inside VBIEDs to tell their story, gallantly fought back to hold ground and save themselves and colleagues.

FIRST WAVE OF ATTACK

The first attack was touched off inside the Somali National Army camp, which is side by side with the Kenyan camp at 4am on Friday.

“It was followed by Armoured Personnel Carrier with an estimated 10-15 suicide bombers on board. The suicide bombers disembarked running towards the KDF trenches” and blew themselves up, the report said.

The vehicles used are believed to have been looted from previous attacks on Uganda and Burundi forces in Somalia.

Kenya’s military intelligence described the brutal force used on Kenyan troops as similar to those witnessed in Paris, Libya and Westgate massacres.

As the troops reacted and re-organised to repulse the enemy after the attack, a second VBIED mounted with a heavy machine-gun made its way into the KDF side driving fast. It drove through amid resistance and heavy gun fire from KDF troops. It later detonated inside the KDF camp with devastating consequences.

SECOND WAVE OF ATTACK

The second VBIED was followed by two Land Cruisers fitted with a machine guns and commonly known in military language as ‘technicals’, each with suicide bombers said to have had rifles, according to the report.

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