KDF kill 14 Al Shabaab militants
| May 31st 2012
By Cyrus Ombati
Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) in Somalia killed 14 Al Shabaab militants near Kismayu region.
Ten other militants were injured in the attack that involved a Naval Ship at an Al Shabaab seaport watch station on Tuesday.
Other reports indicated that the troops had captured Afmadhow and Hayo towns in the renewed attacks.
KDF spokesman Col Cyrus Oguna said the incident occurred when a Naval Ship was conducting routine sea patrol in the vicinity of Kismayu port.
“The militants opened fire at the ship prompting retaliatory naval gunship fire. During the engagement two on-shore structures were also destroyed,” said Oguna.
He added that in Fafadun, Gedo region, 20 Al Shabaab militants with 13 AK 47 rifles surrendered to KDF.
KDF Spokesman Maj Emmanuel Chirchir later said in a Twitter posting the troops had captured Afmadhow.
“Amisom KDF has secured the town of Afmadhow. Earlier in the morning KDF captured Hayo town. Six Al Shabaab were neutralised in the attack,” read the posting.
KDF and Amisom say they intend to capture Kismayu port before or by August.
Chief of Defence Forces Gen Julius Karangi said on Wednesday KDF is scheduled to join the second and final stage of the operation to flush out Al Shabaab from the port.
August is when the mandate of the Transitional Federal Government is set to end.
This will begin after Saturday’s scheduled signing of Memorandum of Understanding to formally join Amisom. “We could have done it long time ago but we were held back by some logistics. We intend to take it over before August. You know the take over will be a pride and that is why we have to wait for other members of Amisom to arrive,” said Karangi.
He revealed that other troops in Somalia are taking positions near the port before the offensive begins.
KDF is expected to dislodge Al Shabaab from Kismayu and jointly occupy it with Sierra Leone troops who have joined Amisom. The area comprises Gedon, Upper and Lower Jubba.
“We don’t see Al Shabaab as a cohesive problem. They are on the run and some of them have crossed to Kenya where they are throwing grenades to civilians and other security agencies,” he said.
He made the remarks at Harambee House, Nairobi, on Wednesday, when he met visiting US senator for Delaware Christopher Coons.
Internal Security minister George Saitoti and his Defence counterpart Yusuf Hajji were present.
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