WAR IN SOUTHERN SOMALIA:Kenyan, Somali soldiers injured in northern Kenya + Related News
Laaska news Dec. 6, 2011
by Stephen Ingati and Christine Lagat
GARISSA, Kenya, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) — At least a Kenyan soldier was killed and three others injured in a landmine explosion in Dadaad refugee camp in northern Kenya on Monday.
Security sources also confirmed that 25 soldiers from the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia have been admitted in the local hospital after sustaining serious injuries in the heavy gun battle with Al-Shabaab at Haaya, remote centre between Dobley and Afmadow in southern Somalia.
The Somali militants raided the TFG camp on Sunday morning before the Kenyan forces moved in to repulse the Al-Shabaab.
Sources told Xinhua on Monday that Al-Shabaab blamed for a series of abductions on the Kenyan soil, lost more than 40 militants in the deadly incursion that saw the TFG loosing 20 soldiers.
Among the TFG officers who were brought to Garissa provincial hospital is top Colonel identified as Abdi Mathobe.
Meanwhile, the four Kenyan policemen on regular patrol had packed their car and were resting under a tree on the road linking Ifo to Dagahaley when the device suspected to have been remote controlled exploded at 10:00 am local time (0720GMT), killing the administration police officer and injuring his colleagues.
Witnesses and police said the device was detonated by a remote and was timed to hit the officers. Residents told Xinhua the policemen had been using the tree as a patrol base routinely and the attackers might have been monitoring their movement closely.
The officers were in a convoy of police cars escorting United Nations officials to the camp and the blast took place when they stepped out of their vehicle.
North Eastern Provincial Commissioner, James ole Serian said a major operation was underway in the camp that is home to more than 400,000 Somalis to get those behind the incident. “We will get them soon. We have launched an operation to arrest the attackers and we urge the locals to be co-operative with the police,” he said.
A police officer who did not want to be named said that the body of the dead officer was ripped apart following the impact of the blast. “This people must have known very well what they were doing because immediately the officers sat under the tree somebody somewhere detonated the device from a remote location,” the police officer told Xinhua on Monday.
Security was tight at the provincial hospital where officers from the anti-terror police and the military locking out residents who wanted to access the facility.
Monday’s incident is the latest to happen at the refugee camp since Kenya sent troops across the border into Somalia in October to crush the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al Shabaab rebels who are blamed for attacks on security forces and tourists inside Kenya, and the kidnap of two Spanish aid workers from Dadaab.
There has been a string of attacks in the area. A remote- controlled bomb hit a police car in another part of the Dadaab complex on Nov. 15 and on Nov. 5 a UN convoy struck a bomb buried in the camp, but it did not explode.
Garissa District Commissioner Albert Kimathi who confirmed the incident said the injured administration police officers were rushed to Ifo 2 refugee hospital where they were undergoing treatment as arrangements to refer them to Garissa provincial hospital were made.
An eye witness Abdi Maalim, a resident of Ifo who was among many residents who thronged to the scene after they heard the blast, said the incident occurred under a shady acacia tree where the officers decided to have a rest.
Maalim said that immediately after the explosion, a man reportedly came out of the bush to try and make away with officers’ guns but a Department of Refugee Affairs vehicle passing by gave chase, forcing him to abandon the weapons and disappear into the thickets.
“I suspect they knew that security officers escorting the convoy usually have a rest under the shady tree,” said Abdi.
Ifo 2 is the new refugee camp opened by the Prime Minister Raila Odinga during the recent high influx of Somali refugees displaced by the drought that affected the neighboring Somalia and the Horn of Africa.
Two Spanish MSF workers were also abducted in the same camp, prompting the ongoing “Linda Nchi” operation by the Kenyan government to get rid off the Al-Shabaab insurgents controlling the Lower Jubba and the Middle Jubba of Somalia that extends to Kismayu sea port.
The explosion also comes three weeks after landmine explosion targeting Kenyan police land cruiser escorting UN convoy in Hagardere–Dadaab road ripped off the vehicle leaving three security officers critically injured.
The attacks in Dadaab, coupled with the kidnappings in October, have forced a number of aid agencies to scale back staff numbers, hitting the provision of aid to those living in the world’s biggest refugee camp, officials said on Monday.
Regional police commander, Leo Nyongesa said police have mounted a search for the people behind the explosion in the entire refugee camps and promised arrests will be made soon.
Two weeks ago a convoy was attacked by suspected A-Shabaab militias when a police van escorting them stepped on a land mine explosion ripping it off injuring four officers who were on board.
Several attacks believed to have been carried out by Al-Shabaab have occurred in Mandera, Wajir, and Garissa and Dadaab districts of northern Kenya even as the military reports gains against the Islamist group by capturing their military bases and killing scores of them.
Explosion kills Kenyan policeman in Dadaab camp
Written By:Reuters, Mon, Dec 05, 2011
An explosion killed one Kenyan police officer and wounded three on Monday at the Dadaab refugee complex in the north of the country near Somalia, provincial police commander Leo Nyongesa said.
He said the blast occurred in the Ifo refugee camp, part of the Dadaab facility in North Eastern province that is home to more than 400,000 Somalis. The Kenya Red Cross confirmed the casualties.
The officers were in a convoy of police cars escorting United Nations officials to the camp. The blast took place when they stepped out of their car, Nyongesa said.
Kenya sent troops across the border into Somalia in October to crush the al Qaeda-affiliated al Shabaab rebels it blames for attacks on its security forces and tourists inside Kenya, and the kidnap of two Spanish aid workers from Dadaab.
Since then, there has been a string of attacks in the area. A remote-controlled bomb hit a police car in another part of the Dadaab complex on Nov. 15 and on Nov. 5 a U.N. convoy struck a bomb buried in the camp, but it did not explode.
The attacks in Dadaab, coupled with the kidnappings in October, have forced a number of aid agencies to scale back staff numbers, hitting the provision of aid to those living in the world’s biggest refugee camp.
Four Kenyans killed in action by Somalia rebels
Written By:AFP, Posted: Sun, Dec 04, 2011
Colonel Cyrus Oguna says “this operation is not time bound.”
The Kenyan army said Saturday it had lost four troops killed in action against Somalia’s Al Shabaab Islamist rebels while 10 had been hospitalised with wounds since it launched its incursion in mid-October.
Another four troops were killed in the crash of a helicopter on the first day of the intervention, military spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna told a press conference.
He was speaking after the Shabaab said Friday they had launched an attack on a small village in southern Somalia, “killing many enemy soldiers, including Kenyan soldiers.”
The Somali government confirmed the fighting but denied the Shabaab claims, saying government troops had had the upper hand.
“We are witnessing less and less resistance from Al-Shabaab, and they are withdrawing deeper and deeper into central Somalia,” Oguna said, while adding that “this operation is not time bound.”
Kenyan Defence Minister Yusuf Haji denied Friday that Nairobi’s forces were necessarily targeting the key port of Kismayo.
“All we said is that we were pushing Shabaab away from our boundary and securing our border, and we will go as far as we will go,” he said.
Nairobi sent troops and tanks into Somalia to fight the insurgents it accuses of a series of attacks on its soil, including the abduction of four foreign women.
They have been accompanied by forces allied to Somalia’s provisional government in some of their operations.
The African Union’s Peace and Security Council formally asked Kenya Friday to join the AU’s AMISOM peacekeeping force in Somalia but Oguna refused to comment on the invitation.
AMISOM currently comprises 9,700 Burundian and Ugandan troops deployed solely in the capital Mogadishu.
The AU also welcomed Friday Ethiopia’s decision to send forces back into its neighbour. Several hundred Ethiopian troops were seen in the country last month though Addis Ababa denied they were there.