Somalia:Kenya giving “logistical, moral”support in battle with Islamists – Somali gov’t
Laaska News Oct. 16,2011
MOGADISHU, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) — Somali government officials on Sunday said Kenyan troops are providing logistical and moral backing to its forces battling with fighters from the militant al Shabaab group which controls southern provinces at the common frontier.
Somali government spokesman, Abdurrahman Omar Osman, said the Kenyan government troops were providing what he termed as “logistical and moral”surpports to the Somali government troops who he said have made considerable gains against al Shabaab fighters.
“The aim of the offensive is to drive the anti-peace elements from the southern regions and our forces have made considerable advances into the provinces previously controlled by the group. Kenyan troops are providing logistical, moral and political support to our forces,” the government spokesman told Xinhua.
Osman said the Kenyan troops remained along the common border between the two countries to stop “fleeing militants” from entering. He called on Kenyan government to tightened security along its border as the government offensive continues against al Shabaab militants.
Somalia says its troops are pursuing al Qaeda-linked Islamist militants of al Shabaab who have been waging four years of deadly insurgency against Somali government.
Kenya has recently witnessed a wave of kidnapping of foreign tourists and aid workers in a cross border raid by gunmen who took their hostages into Somalia.
Somali government military officials in the southern provinces where battles with al Shabaab fighters have been raging for the past days said that government troops have taken control a key town in al Shabaab held areas.
Yusuf Ahmed Dhumal, senior commander of Somali government forces in the south of the country says the government troops have pushed deeper into al Shabaab territory. However, he gave no further details.
Al Shabaab fighters have withdrawn from the capital Mogadishu in August after major offensive by Somali government troops backed by African Union peacekeeping forces.
The group which aims to topple the internationally recognized government of Somalia controls much of the south and center of the war and famine ravaged horn of African nation.
The militant group has repeated threatened to attack targets in Kenya and has been accused of carrying out a bomb attack on a bus in the Kenyan capital Nairobi last year.