The militant group Al-Shabaab yesterday launched an attack on a Kenyan military base in southern Somalia. This is the second attack that the group that has links to Al-Qaeda has carried out this week.
The attack on the Kulbiyow base where Kenyan soldiers are deployed as part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) began when Al-Shabaab fighters used a vehicle packed with explosives to try to blast their way into the camp of the Kenya Defence Forces.
A spokesman for Al-Shabaab, which often launches attacks on troops of the African Union’s AMISOM force, said its fighters killed at least 65 Kenyans and seized different kinds of military equipment. He added that they “seized control of the base and the entire area of Kulbiyow after they killed the Kenyan infidels.”
Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Paul Njuguna said in a statement that Kenyan soldiers resisted “a group of Al-Shabaab fighters who tried to attack the base before dawn”. Njuguna continued by saying that “the information that the terrorists provided on social media networks is incorrect and is part of their propaganda” and that “an operation to guarantee security in the region is ongoing and is supported by forces in the air and on the ground”.
The Kulbiyow base is located near the Kenyan border in Somalia’s Lower Juba region. Al-Shabaab frequently overstates the death toll from its attacks while Kenya commonly underplays its losses. No independent sources were able to provide a death toll for the attacks on Friday.
The group has also claimed responsibility for killing 28 people and injuring 43 others when two cars exploded in front of a popular hotel in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, on Wednesday. Militants then stormed inside exchanging gunfire with security guards. The attack began when an explosives-packed car was rammed into the entrance of Dayah Hotel, near the headquarters of the Somali parliament and government.