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Kenya, Somalia vow to clear Al Shabaab

BY
Updated Tuesday, November 1st 2011 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Standard Reporter and Agencies

Kenya and Somalia'> Somalia have delivered a powerful show of unity in Nairobi, pledging their commitment to the ongoing joint military operation against Al Shabaab insurgents.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga at his office met with TFG officials led by Somalia'> Somalia Prime Minister Abdiweli Mohamed Ali, who said Al Shabaab must be destroyed all the way to the strategic port of Kismayu. This came just a week after President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed of Somalia'> Somalia termed as "inappropriate" the ongoing offensive by the Kenya Defence Force, and accused Nairobi of violating his country’s sovereignty.

Somalia'> Somalia government supports operation by Kenyan forces, which is being co-ordinated with the TFG. Photo: Maxwell Agwanda/Standard

Monday’s public mending of fences in the full glare of the media was strengthened by the presence of Somalia'> Somalia’s Defence Minister Hussein Arab Isse, Interior Minister Abdisamad Moalin Mohamud and General Abdulkarim Dini, commander of TFG forces.

As the Somali and Kenyan delegates were meeting, military spokesperson Major Emmanuel Chirchir said a Kenya Air Force jet attacked an Al Shabaab camp in the village of Jilib on Saturday, killing 10 insurgents and wounding 47.

Enemy actions

He dismissed claims by humanitarian agency, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders or MSF), in Marere, Lower Juba, of an attack on an Internally Displaced Persons camp that allegedly killed three civilians and injuring 52.

"We wish to clarify that the incident at the IDP camp developed following enemy actions in the area," said Major Chirchir.

Aid agencies operate in central and southern Somalia'> Somalia only with permission from the Al Shabaab, and there has been no independent verification of the claims by MSF.

But Major Chirchir blamed the deaths and injuries in the camp on Al Shabaab who fled into the IDP camp aboard a burning "technical battle wagon mounted with a ZSU 2-3 anti-aircraft gun".

He said the wagon exploded inside the camp causing the deaths and injuries.

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