Home > TFG Somalia > War in Southern Somalia:Kenya Navy to join battle for Kismayu + Related News

War in Southern Somalia:Kenya Navy to join battle for Kismayu + Related News

Monday, October 31, 2011

Laaska News Oct. 31,2011    Kenya Media

 Conflicting reports as Al-Shabaab says it killed 80 AU troops in blast

Gideon Maundu | NATION After the abduction of two tourists in Lamu, security has been beefed up and the Kenya Navy has been making several sea patrols around the island. 

Kenya’s naval forces are likely to be in action this week, as the next phase of the military operation targeting the Al-Shabaab militants in Somalia gets under way.

The Navy has largely been missing in action for the two-weeks of the incursion as the Army and Air force pounded Al-Shabaab strongholds.

They have since taken control of areas deemed strategic in the quest to capture Kismayu — the main Al-Shabaab base.

Military sources in Kiunga and Lamu said the anticipated attack on Kismayu, a sea port and an Al-Shabaab bastion will definitely involve the Navy.

A senior officer at Department of Defence also said the Navy has been keeping vigil on the seas as part of the strategy within the ‘Operation Linda Nchi’.

“Our ships are at their bases near the operation zone and are ready for deployment whenever they are needed,” the senior officer told the Nation in an interview.

He cannot be named as he is not authorised to discuss the operation in the media.

On Wednesday, Kenyan troops and Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government forces captured Burgabo, a town that served as an Al-Shabaab training centre and a frontier base for the militants.

The source said the Kenyan and TFG troops can take the mainland route from Kudai, Instanbul, Fuma and Mchoni from where they can approach Kismayu.

The second route would largely consist of a sea-borne attack involving the Navy as it entails manoeuvring around the dozens of islands in the area and crossing several channels.

Separately, two Al-Shabaab suicide bombers at the weekend attacked a base for the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) in which three Ugandan soldiers were killed.

The militant group, however, claimed that over 80 Amisom soldiers were killed in the Mogadishu attack.

Lt-Gen Katumba Wamala, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces commander in charge of Lands Forces, confirmed the Saturday suicide attack on AU troops, but said only three soldiers died and two seriously injured.

Military Spokesman Felix Kulayigye corroborated Lt-Gen Katumba’s version of the story, saying three soldiers died and an equal number injured, two seriously.

The militant gang claimed in a press statement that “the Mujahideen stormed an Amisom compound, killing 80 Ugandan soldiers.”

“Those injured have been flown for treatment to Nairobi Hospital,” Col Kulayigye said. “An investigation is being carried out to establish how this attack happened.”

Mr Wafula Wamunyinyi, the deputy head of Amisom while condemning the attack, placed the death toll at four.

They were killed in a suicide attack by Somalia insurgents dressed in TFG uniforms,” he said.

He added: “They approached the front line and then exploded their bombs. Four of the Amisom soldiers died on the spot and seven were injured.”

 

Executed by terrorists

The AU in a press statement said the midday attack was executed by terrorists, including two suicide bombers disguised as Somali Army troops, who attempted to recapture an area near German Steel Factory, which they lost two months ago.

Amisom troops repulsed the militants, the AU said.

The Amisom spokesperson, Lt-Col Paddy Ankunda, who is on the ground in Mogadishu in a telephone interview declined to quote the number of soldiers lost in the weekend battle.

“We sustained some casualties but I do not have the figures yet,” he said.

Uganda has over 6,000 soldiers in the African peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

Nation.

.

Conflicting reports as Al-Shabaab says it killed 80 AU troops in blast

 By ABDULKADIR KHALIF and TABU BUTAGIRA NATION

Correspondents and Agencies

Abdiwahab Haji | AFP Somalia government soldiers secure the scene of a suicide attack that killed at least three people on October 18, 2011 in Somalia’s wartorn capital, Mogadishu. 

Mogadishu, Sunday        

Two Al-Shabaab suicide bombers blew themselves up yesterday at an Amisom base in Mogadishu and conflicting accounts indicate anywhere between three and 80 Ugandan soldiers were killed.

Following the attack, Al-Shabaab said today an American citizen of Somali origin was one of the two suicide bombers behind the attack.

Several pro-Al-Shabaab radio stations broadcast what they said were the last words of the attacker named as Abdusalam al-Muhajir who said that he “wanted to die as a martyr” after spending the last two years fighting alongside the Islamist rebels.

“I am an American citizen who grew up in the United States after my parents took me there at the age of two,” he said in the message which was broadcast a day after the attack on an African Union base in the capital.

Sheikh Mohamed Ibrahim, a Al-Shabaab spokesman, said: “Two young and brave mujahideen warriors, one who came from the United States, led the holy attack that killed many enemies yesterday.”

Late on Saturday, the militant group, which withdrew from the Somali capital in August, leaving a queasy security situation, claimed in a press statement that “the Mujahideen stormed an Amisom compound, killing 80 Ugandan soldiers.”

Uganda army Commander, Lt Gen Katumba Wamala, last night confirmed that a lunch-hour suicide attack on AU troops took place but but said only three soldiers perished and two were seriously injured.

“Eighty soldiers dead; are they nsenene (grasshoppers)?” Gen Katumba asked when informed of the Al-Shabaab claims.

Military spokesman Felix Kulayigye said preliminary details show three soldiers died and an equal number injured; two seriously.

“Those injured have been flown for treatment to Nairobi Hospital,” Col Kulayigye said. “An investigation is being carried out to know exactly how this attack happened.”

UPDF declined to name the dead, and or injured, soldiers saying it needs to first notify their relatives.

There were varied claims about fatality figures. Mr Wafula Wamunyinyi, African Union deputy Special Representative in Mogadishu said by telephone that four Amisom soldiers were killed.

He said: “They approached the frontline and then exploded their bombs. Four of the Amison soldiers died on the spot and seven were injured.”

The AU in a press statement said the midday attack was executed by armed terrorists, including two suicide bombers disguised as Somali Army troops, who attempted to recapture an area near German Steel Factory which they lost two months ago.

It is understood the suicide bombing triggered heavy fighting for control of the gateway to Industrial Road, an important city artery, which marks Mogadishu’s northern border.

Amisom troops repulsed the militants, AU said.

Some sources in the area indicated that as soon as the explosions inside the compound occurred, more militants in army uniforms appeared from nearby and immediately jumped in commandos’ styles over the perimeter wall.

Al-Shabaab claimed that heavy fighting and the preceding suicide blasts caused 100 deaths.

Oct. 30.

Nation.
Laaska News.
www.laaska.wordpress.com