The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) troops killed 34 Al-Shabaab militants in separate shootout incidents in Somalia at the weekend and recovered weapons from them.
Officials said two KDF personnel were also killed in one of the clashes that happened on Saturday afternoon. Five other KDF personnel were injured and airlifted for medical attention.
The latest happened Sunday in Sarira, Lacta Belt about 30 kilometers from Ras Kiamboni where 13 militants were killed.
KDF spokesman Col David Obonyo said the killings happened after the troops pursued a group that planned an attack.
“The KDF soldiers pursued them following information of an intended probe attack. Following the incident, a middle level commander has been detained, 13 militants were killed, 8 AK 47 rifles, 2 PKM machine guns, 2 RPGs and assorted ammunitions were recovered,” said Obonyo.
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The incident came a day after the troops killed 21 Al-Shabaab militants in a shootout in, Afmadhow area, Lower Juba Region and recovered weapons.
Officials said two KDF personnel were also killed in the clash that happened on Saturday afternoon. Five other KDF personnel were injured and airlifted for medical attention.
This was after their lorry was hit by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED).
The troops recovered 19 AK47 rifles, three rocket propelled grenades (RPGs) and a pistol, Obonyo said.
Col Obonyo said a convoy of KDF soldiers operating under the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) were on their way to Afmadhow when they engaged Al-Shabaab militants who had laid an ambush in the Lower Juba Region.
“Regrettably, KDF suffered two fatalities and five injuries,” Col Obonyo said in a statement.
Col Obonyo said the overpowered Al-Shabaab militants resorted to the use of improvised explosive devices (IED), damaging one of the KDF vehicles.
It happened days after KDF killed 19 other militants in the same area. The incident happened on Wednesday and a vehicle, 10 AK-47 rifles and three RPGs were recovered.
The militants are said to have planned an attack on a camp occupied the Amisom and Somali National Army troops in Afmadhow, Lower Juba Region.
“The Al-Shabaab terrorists had approached the camp at night with the intnt to attack and cut off the SNA from Amisom (KDF) camp. KDF soldiers on patrol identified the militants and engaged them in a fierce battle.”
“The Al-Shabaab attempted to fight back but were swiftly repulsed by the KDF soldiers on patrol and those at the camp,” said Col Obonyo.
Kenya has about 4,000 troops in the 22,000-strong African Union force battling al-Shabab, which is part of al-Qaeda, in Somalia.
The latest incident also comes two weeks after the US strike killed more than 150 Al-Shabaab militants.