At least 30 members of the militant Islamist group al Shabaab have been killed in an air strike on one of their training camps in Somalia, Kenya’s military said on Friday.
The raid, which took place Thursday evening, targeted an al Shabaab camp in Garbarahey, a district situated in the southwestern Gedo region, which is near the country’s borders with Kenya and Ethiopia.
"KDF (Kenya Defence Force) fighter jets attacked an al Shabaab camp, where a meeting was being held," a senior KDF official said.
"Initial battle damage assessment indicates more than 30 al Shabaab militants [were] killed, including key commanders," the official added.
Another military official said the Kenyan armed forces were trying to determine the identities of those killed in the raid.
"We are yet to establish their identities, but they are definitely big shots in the militant group's hierarchy," the official said, adding that five vehicles and other "key assets" were destroyed in the raid.
Officials said they believed dozens of other militants were also wounded.
Kenya has been fighting al Shabaab, which is based in Somalia, since October 2011. Designated as a terrorist organisation by the United States and Britain, the group has staged attacks both in Somalia and across its borders. In September, al Shabaab claimed responsibility for orchestrating a deadly assault on a shopping centre in Kenya’s capital Nairobi.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, however, has vowed to maintain Kenya's military presence in Somalia.
"Let them (al Shabaab) know that we will not relent on the war," Kenyatta said late last year. "Our forces will remain in Somalia until such time when we are satisfied that there is peace."
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)
Date created : 2014-01-10