World
AMISOM airstrikes destroy al-Shabaab basesPublish Date: Jun 23, 2014
AMISOM airstrikes destroy al-Shabaab bases
  • mail
  • img
African Union police officers undergo a demonstration of the correct way to stop and search a vehicle, during exercises at the General Kahiye Police Academy in Mogadishu, Somalia, on June 16, 2014. PHOTO/AF/AMISOM
newvision

MOGADISHU - Kenyan fighter jets have bombed bases of Somalia's al-Qaeda-linked al-Shaabab with scores of fighters killed, the African Union force fighting the extremists said Monday.

The air strikes on the impoverished villages of Anole and Kuday in the southern Lower Juba region are part of the offensive by the 22,000-strong UN-backed AU mission in Somalia (AMISOM), who launched in March a fresh bid to wrest remaining towns from the Islamists.

"AMISOM forces have conducted airstrikes... as part of a sustained effort to destroy al-Shabaab's military capabilities," the force said in a statement, adding it was Kenyan air planes that carried out the bombing.

Shebab spokesman Abdulaziz Abu Musab said Kenyan troops with the AU were also fighting the Islamists on the ground Monday, with jets and attack helicopters firing in support.

The air strikes come one week after the al-Shabaab claimed responsiblity for twin massacres on Kenya's coast in which at least 60 people were killed, although Nairobi blamed those attacks on local political networks.

The al-Shabaab said it carried out the attacks in revenge for Kenya's military role in southern Somalia, as part of the AMISOM force.

At Anole, the AU said airstrikes "left more than 30 al-Shabaab fighters dead", while in Kuday, the strikes "killed more than 50 insurgents."

It was not possible to independently verify the numbers reported killed.


An Ethiopian soldier, as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM), walks through Baidoa, Somalia, on June 22 during a night patrol in the city. PHOTO/AFP/AMISOM

But the al-Shabaab boasted of having ambushed a Kenyan army convoy inside Somalia.

"Several Kenyan soldiers were killed and their bodies are lying in the battle zone," Musab told AFP.

"Kenya's army is using helicopters and fighters jets to rescue their surrounded troops."

After withdrawing from fixed positions in the capital Mogadishu nearly three years ago, the Shebab have lost most large towns to the AU and government soldiers. However, they still regularly launch guerrilla raids.

AU envoy Mahamat Saleh Annadif praised the latest push against the Islamist fighters.

"We will employ all the means at our disposal to end their reign of terror," Annadif said.

Recent Shebab attacks in Somalia have targeted key areas of government, or the security forces, in an apparent bid to discredit claims by the authorities and AU troops that they are winning the war.

Foreign diplomats say the al-Shabaab threaten several nations in East Africa, including Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, who all have troops in Somalia.

Also related to this story

Al Shabaab claims attack on Kenya army convoy

Kenya vows no Somalia pullout after mall attack


Somalia declares new war on al-Shabaab


Three Ugandan peacekeepers killed during Somalia attack

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
China detains five in expired meat scandal
Chinese police have detained five people from a unit of US food supplier OSI Group in a case involving expired meat....
Bill Clinton: Perpetrators of MH17 crash sought a divided world
The former US president has called for strength in responding to the downing of flight MH17, declaring that those who shot down the plane sided with a brutal vision of the world....
Major US, European and Canadian airlines cancelled flights to and from Israel on Tuesday after a rocket fired from Gaza struck near its main international airport in Tel Aviv....
Villagers in a rural part of eastern India have beaten to death a woman whom they accused of being a witch, police said Tuesday....
MH17 bodies expected Wednesday, IDs could take months
The first bodies from the MH17 crash in Ukraine will be flown on Wednesday to the Netherlands, where their identification could take months, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said....
German court allows patients to grow medical marijuana
A German court ruled for the first time Tuesday that seriously ill patients may grow their own marijuana for medical purposes in certain cases....
Should government review powers of kings?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter