Kenyan troops targeted by IEDs by Al-Shabaab in Somalia
KISMAYO, Somalia – Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] Troops serving in Somalia were targeted by Al-Shabaab militants on Saturday in the latest attack which highlights the fragile situation in the Horn of Africa country, which has struggled for stability for several years. .
Two KDF vehicles were targeted by Al-Shabaab, which used improvised explosive devices, reports said. [IEDs], in the latest attack, which comes as the country plans to hold elections ahead of the exit of the U.S. Africa Command team, which has been instrumental in keeping the peace.
The attack, according to reports, took place in the Dhobley-Taabto area of Lower Jubba, where the KDF team has several forward operating bases, which act as their stations in the fight against Al- Shabaab. The KDF team is in charge of sectors II and VI of AMISOM, mainly in the state of Jubaland.
So far, the number of casualties remains low, but both vehicles have been severely damaged. Almost degraded in the region, Al-Shabaab often carries out sporadic small to large-scale attacks primarily targeting security forces, innocent civilians and government officials.
Throughout the past year, militants have attempted to carry out attacks against the KDF team in Somalia, but most raids have been thwarted thanks to the team’s vigilance. Officers of the Jubaland security forces, which are major partners of the Kenyan defense forces, were also targeted.
Next week, the Kenyan Defense Force will commemorate the fifth anniversary of the El-Adde military raid which took place not far from Saturday’s incident. The attack, which remains the worst in KDF history, left 150 soldiers dead according to official reports in Nairobi.
But to date, the government of Kenya and the Kenya Defense Forces have yet to release official reports on what may have happened on that fateful day. A year later, in 2017, the KDF team would also lose nearly 70 troops in Kulbiyow, also in Somalia’s Lower Jubba region under similar circumstances.
Kenya is a major security partner of Somalia’s federal government, but the two countries have often been embroiled in diplomatic disputes, especially in the past two years. Nearly 3,500 KDF troops are serving in Somalia and are expected to leave in the coming months.