Kenya: Kenya intensifies retaliatory air strikes in Somalia

Nairobi, Kenya (PANA) - Kenya has intensified retaliatory air strikes in Somalia’s Gedo region as the search and rescue operation for soldiers who escaped the deadly attack on an African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) continued for the fifth day running, PANA reported Tuesday.

Kenyan air force jets used unusually heavier bombs on key targets, especially the military assets stolen from the AMISOM military base occupied by the Kenyan contingent on 15 January.

Col. David Obonyo, the Kenyan military Spokesperson, said tanks and other weapons seized from the military base, overrun by the Somali militants who used a suicide bomb to gain access, were destroyed in the strikes.

The Al Shabaab, which has claimed to have killed several Kenyan soldiers during the attack last Friday, is still believed to be holding some Kenyan soldiers hostage.

Gen. Samson Mwathethe, Kenya’s army chief, said on Sunday, the military launched a delicate operation to rescue the soldiers affected by the attack.

At least 30 soldiers who survived the attack were airlifted to Nairobi on Monday.

The attack at the El Adde military base, so far, is the worst ever on the Kenyan military since they arrived in Somalia on 16 October 2011.

Kenyan military sources told the Standard newspaper, Al Shabaab militants attacked the military base using a vehicle-borne explosive assembled on an armoured vehicle stolen from the Burundian contingent, which has also been targeted by the suicide attacks.

The suicide bomb hit the Kenyan soldiers at dawn, shuttering a radius of 200 metres.

Several soldiers who survived the attack have been airlifted to Nairobi for counseling.

The government has now deployed a Special Forces Combat team on the battlefield to help trace and rescue some senior commanders who are still believed to be trapped within the El Adde area.

A fierce air and land combat has ensued since the Al Shabaab gained entry into the Kenyan military base.

On Sunday, Gen. Mwathethe said the military would ensure the blood of the Kenyan soldiers is not shed in vain.

-0- PANA AO/AR 19Jan2016

19 january 2016 19:02:58

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