|KDF bomb suspected Al shabaab position within Fafadun township in Somalia. (Photo:File/Standard)|
Somalia: The Kenya Defence Forces have killed more than 80 members of Somalia’s Al Shabaab militants in an offensive in Jamaame and Magambo areas near Kismayu in Somalia.
The militants were killed on Thursday in an operation by the KDF and Somalia National Army, a statement from the Department of Defence said.
The statement added four vehicles fitted with machine guns were also destroyed in the operation.
“The two Al Shabaab bases were used to launch attacks against the newly liberated town of Bula Gaduud which remains under SNA and Amisom control along the Kismayu- Jamaame-Jilb Road,” said the statement signed by spokesman Col David Obonyo.
The incident is the latest in the area in a series that have put pressure on the militants.
The troops have launched attacks on the militants in the past weeks killing close to 200 and recovered vehicles and arms.
Two weeks ago, at least 60 militants were killed in an operation by KDF in Bula Gaduud area, Somalia.
KDF said they recovered several bullets and guns and five four wheel drive vehicles from the slain men.
Other reports suggested that the KDF and SNA personnel were in Bula Gaduud ahead of a planned assault on Jilib that is one of the towns occupied by the militants.
This has sent the militants scattered. Some of them are headed to Kenya, which has prompted heightened security at the borderline.
Police boss David Kimaiyo has asked for vigilance at the border following the escape of the militants.
On Friday, four suspected Al Shabaab followers were arrested with explosives in Eastleigh, Nairobi.
The men had arrived in a salon car and were allegedly dressed in women clothes when they were arrested by police along 12th street.
Last week, KDF intercepted a four-wheel drive car with Kenyan registration numbers laden with explosives at the Kenya-Somalia border and killed five occupants.
The personnel shot and killed the five occupants of the Toyota Prado car in the Saturday morning incident.
Department of Defence spokesman Bogita Ongeri said the vehicle also had six suicide vests and 100 kilogrames of TNT, which is used to make bombs.
He added the incident happened as the occupants of the vehicle tried to cross to Kenya at Dolo in Mandera.
“The occupants opened fire on the security forces who responded killing five Al Shabaab operatives,” said Ongeri.
Bogita said the same occupants had earlier on tried to gain entry into Kenya at Bulahawa through Mandera and that security forces were working on reliable intelligence, which enabled them to trace and track the car.
The militants lost control of Barawe two weeks ago.
The loss of Barawe - after six years under their control - comes a month after Al-Shabaab's leader, Ahmed Abdi Godane, was killed by a US air strike near the town.
The group, which is estimated to have at least 5,000 fighters, wants to overthrow the UN-backed Somali government and has imposed a strict version of Sharia in areas under its control.
KDF moved to Somalia in 2011 to hunt down the militants who have been blamed for several insecurity related incidents. The troops under Amisom have managed to liberate a number of towns since then.