Kenya Defence Forces troops in Somalia say they killed 21 al-Shabaab militants in a clash in Dobley area and recovered 17 AK47 rifles, five rocket propelled grenades and other assorted ammunition.
The incident happened Tuesday after the troops had come under attack as they travelled from Dobley to Tabda.
According to KDF spokesman Col David Obonyo, among those killed include a junior level Commander, Salad Bart who is believed to have been in-charge of the group.
He said the incident happened when the troops were approaching Hawina and were shot at prompting an operation.
”The troops, who were on route to Tabda from Dobley, while approaching Hawina at 8.23am were shot at by a lone al-Shabaab terrorist who fled the scene,” said Obonyo.
Col Obonyo did not indicate if there were casualties on the side of KDF troops. He said following the shooting, KDF troops started patrolling the area to flush out Al Shabaab terrorists. At around 10am the troops engaged Al Shabaab terrorists who were attempting to mount an ambush along the road to Tabda. This resulted to the killing of the 21 militants.
KDF went to Somalia in October 2011. Kenya's incursion into southern Somalia started after the kidnapping of two Spanish women, who were working for MSF at the Dadaab refugee camp.
The abductions were carried out by the militants who the troops said planned to push away under the Operation Linda Nchi. Two years later, the troops managed to take control of Kismayo port under Operation Sledge Hammer.
Initially a team of about 2000 troops had been engaged in the operation but the number doubled when Kenya joined UN’s AMISOM. The Kenyan military says there is no set exit date for the operation, but the indicator of the mission's success would be a crippling of Al-Shabaab's capacity.
The militants have struck Kenya more than four times demanding the withdrawal of the troops.
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