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KDF probes aircraft crash in Somalia after 10 soldiers injured

By Cyrus Ombati | August 5th 2020

The Kenya Defence Forces said Tuesday it has launched investigations into circumstances in which its aircraft crash-landed in southern Somalia on Monday evening.

Ten troops who were on board were injured in the incident.

The double engine aircraft had delivered supplies to Amisom when the incident happened.

KDF spokesperson Col Zipporah Kioko said a KDF aircraft model was on routine duties when it crash-landed at the Dhobley airstrip.

“All the ten military personnel onboard the aircraft are at the Defense Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi in stable condition,” Kioko said in a statement.

She added that an investigation team is in Dhobley to establish the cause of the crash.

Sources in Somalia said some of the injured soldiers were transferred to Nairobi while others were moved to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) hospital in Mogadishu.

The plane is reported to have been on a return trip after delivering supplies to the soldiers who are part of Amisom based in Lower Juba region near the Kenyan border.

About 4,000 Kenyan soldiers are serving under the Amisom and are responsible for sector 2, comprising Lower and Middle Juba.

The latest incident is the third this year after a civilian plane registered as 5Y-VVU, operated by Kenya’s Bluebird Aviation, crashed on July 14 during landing at Ugaas Khalif Airport in Beledweyne town in Hiiraan region of central Somalia.

An Amisom commander said then that three crew members aboard the plane which was carrying food aid from Djibouti, were rescued while the food aid burnt down.

On May 4, a Kenyan plane carrying health supplies was mistakenly shot down by Ethiopian troops on May 4, killing six people on board.

Kenya launched Operation Linda Nchi on October 14, 2011, after gunmen seized tourists at the Coast which the Government saw as a threat to the country's sovereignty as it targeted the nation's economic lifeline-Tourism.

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.

The troops have liberated many regions near Kenyan porous border.

Somalia has not had an effective central government since the 1991 overthrow of President Siad Barre's military regime, which ushered in more than two decades of anarchy and conflict in a country deeply divided along clan lines.

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