Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bodies of KDF Soldiers Killed in Somalia Expected at Wilson Airport
Jan. 17, 2016, 12:00 pm

The bodies of Kenyan soldiers killed by al Shabaab in Somalia will be received at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi on Sunday.

The Kenya Defence Forces is yet to confirm the number of slain soldiers but the Somalia-based terror group claimed in killed 61 soldiers. KDF has in the past decried exaggerations by the group.

Al Shabaab, which is aligned with al Qaeda, said it took over the base, about 550 km (340 miles) west of Mogadishu after a suicide bomber from the group rammed its gates.

The Telegraph reported that Kenyan jet fighters launched airstrikes in Northern Gedo in pursuit of al Shabaab fighters involved in the attack in El Adde.

The agency said residents confirmed the airstrikes, adding: "They used jets and helicopters strafing enemy fighters who responded with anti-aircraft weapons."

Bodies of the slain soldiers were reportedly dragged the town. Sections of Somalia media posted pictures said to have been of the soldiers, whose sharing Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery warned against.

Several leaders have condemned the attack that resulted in a Twitter discussion about the presence of the army in Somalia.

Al Shabaab has carried out several attacks in Kenya, the deadliest being the massacre of 147 people, mostly students, at Garissa University College on April 2, 2015.

Uhuru said in a statement on Friday that Kenya will not be intimidated by "cowards" but Kenyans on Twitter criticised him on Friday saying this was a cliche statement.

Cord leader Raila Odinga condoled with the families of the soldiers saying the country has "lost some of its best defenders".

Bungoma Senator Moses Wetang'ula condemned the "atrocious, barbaric and savage criminal act" and celebrated "their willingness to serve so selflessly including paying the ultimate price".

Somalia's Foreign minister Abdirahman Duale said the attack is "unforgivable" and that the sacrifice of Kenyan soldiers will not be in vain.

Al Shabaab has in the past targeted Ugandan and Burundian soldiers seeking to restore peace and stabilise as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia.

Reuters reported that on June 26, 2015 that al Shabaab militants detonated a car bomb and battled African Union troops at a peacekeepers' base south of Mogadishu.

The terror group's spokesman told the agency that it had killed 50 Burundian soldiers and lost six of its own fighters.

On September 3, 2015, 12 Ugandan soldiers were killed when militants attacked their base. Al Shabaab had claimed killing 70.

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