The violent clashes erupted yesterday between al Shebab insurgents and Kenyan troops, engaged in an offensive in southern Somalia. It is the first fighting since the start of the operation Linda Nchi (protect the nation), launched on October 18 in an aim to free the key port city of Kismayo and weaken the insurgency against the government of Mogadishu.
According to a military spokesman, the clashes took place in Tabdo, near Dhobley, as the forces attempted to reinforce positions gained in the past days around the area of Qooqani. The fighting was confirmed also by an al Shebab spokesman, though the tolls do not coincide: Kenya claims that 9 insurgents were killed, while the Islamic armed group says 15 soldiers were killed.
The Kenyan Daily Nation reports that the troops are continuing their advance toward Burgabo, 120km south of Kismayo, stronghold of the al Shebab in the area.
The ‘Young Mujahadin’ (Shebab) have renewed the threat to carry out attacks in Kenyan territory in response to the military offensive in south Somalia. The Sheikh Muqtar Robow Abu Mansur, leader of the insurgent group, announced that trained combatants in Kenya are ready to carry out attacks in various cities.