Home > SOMALI NEWS > War in Southern Somalia & Kenyan troops in Somalia Soil – News

War in Southern Somalia & Kenyan troops in Somalia Soil – News

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Laaska News Oct. 16,2011
Somali govt forces seize town from al-Shabaab rebels


Kenyan troops enter Somalia to attack rebels

By AFP
Kenyan security forces have begun assembling along the border with war-torn Somalia in preparation for assaults on militia forces behind several recent kidnappings of foreigners, sources said Sunday.

“Our forces are assembling at the border points where they are being briefed… as they prepare to enter Somalia,” said an official at military headquarters, asking for anonymity as he was not authorised to speak to media. (READ: Kenyan troops off to war)

Kenya’s Internal Security Minister George Saitoti said on Saturday that troops would cross the frontier, branding Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-inspired Al-Shabaab rebels “the enemy” and blaming them for the abduction of four European women.

In just over the past month, a British woman and a French woman have been abducted from beach resorts in two separate incidents, dealing a major blow to Kenya’s tourism industry.

On Thursday two female Spanish aid workers were seized from the Dadaab refugee camp, the world’s largest and crowded with some 450,000 mainly Somali refugees.

They (the army) have been instructed to get ready for the assignment, which will mainly include pushing the Al-Shabaab rebels far inside Somalia away from the common border,” the military official added.

Kenya already backs anti-Shabaab and pro-government militia groups in Somali border regions as efforts to create a buffer zone from hostile rebels.

An AFP reporter close to the border witnessed large numbers of troops as well as military airplanes and helicopters overhead.

Several witnesses reported heavy troop movement in Kenya’s border regions, with truckloads of soldiers heading towards the frontier.

While Kenya has blamed the abductions on the Islamist Al-Shabaab, experts say the kidnappings could also be the work of pirates, bandits or opportunistic criminal gangs.

Somalia has had no effective government ever since it plunged into repeated rounds of civil wars beginning in 1991, allowing a flourishing of militia armies, extremist rebels and piracy.

NATION.

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Somali govt forces seize town from al-Shabaab rebels
 

Kenyan security forces search on near Liboi, a border town with Somalia where it is believed two Spanish aid workers kidnapped on October 14 from Dadaab refugee camp in the company of five men of Somali appearance. 
 Sunday, October 16  2011

MOGADISHU,Somali government troops and allied militia have wrested control of an Islamist Al Shabaab stronghold which borders Kenya after reported bombing by military aircraft on Saturday, officials and witnesses said.

Troops from the Western-backed government, as well as gunmen from the pro-government Ras Kamboni militia, took control of the southern Somali town of Qoqani in the Lower Juba region, which borders Kenya.

The government forces took control of Qoqani after heavy shelling on the positions of the Shabaab and their affiliates,” said Abdurrahman Mohamed, a government security official.

The enemy is lost and we will continue pursuing them,” he added.

The official did not specify the form of the shelling, but witnesses said there had been aerial bombardment in Qoqani late Saturday before Shabaab troops pulled out of the town.

Several aircraft dropped bombs on the jungle area of Qoqani causing heavy explosions, and the Shabaab withdrew from the town without face-to-face fighting,” said Sugule Ali, an elder in a nearby village.

The US military has carried out a number of attacks in recent years against Al-Qaeda militants believed to be hiding in Somalia, including using unmanned drones.

Neighbouring Kenya on Saturday vowed to pursue across the Somali border armed kidnappers responsible for a spate of abductions of foreigners, that Nairobi blames on the Al-Qaeda inspired Shabaab.

Kenyan military aircraft and helicopters were reported along the frontier with Somalia late Saturday as forces searched for two Spanish aid workers abducted from the Dadaab refugee camp on Thursday.

The shelling was very heavy and we could hear the planes flying over the jungle as big bombs were dropped,” Nuradin Haji Hassan, another witness said.

We don’t know which country these planes belonged but they have carried out several rounds of aerial bombardment in the Qoqani area,” he added.

Somalia has had no effective government ever since it plunged into repeated rounds of civil wars beginning in 1991, allowing a flourishing of militia armies, extremist rebels and piracy.

African Union and Somali government forces are battling die-hard Shebab fighters in the Somali capital still held after the bulk of rebels pulled out in August.

The Shebab however have said they have shifted to guerrilla tactics, and recent bomb attacks have demonstrated they are still able to wreak havoc deep inside the city. They still control large areas of south and central Somalia.
(AFP)/NATION.

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