Al-Shabab gunman kills Kenyan soldiers in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya -- A top military officer in the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia [ATMIS] has confirmed in confidence the death of three Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] soldiers who were serving in the peacekeeping mission, in the latest incident targeting troops in the Horn of Africa nation.
The incident which took place at Hosingow Forward Operating Base within Sector II of ATMIS saw an Al-Shabaab lone gunman storm the base before firing indiscriminately. This was the first time the militants were targeting a KDF military base in as many months.
According to the military official who spoke to the AP, the militant gunned down three soldiers injuring five others but was immediately killed after a brief gunfight. The FOB in Hosingow is known as Sarira and is found in Lower Jubba where the militants have been under attack from the peacekeepers.
Al-Shabab through its media confirmed it had carried out the attack noting that it also killed a number of Ethiopian National Defense Forces [ENDF] officers at Waajid town within the Southwest state of Somalia.
“We believe the lone wolf was testing the ground and we are expecting more such incidents. We must be more careful and vigilant,” said the Kenyan military official. “As we near the festivities, we need to be very vigilant of our surroundings. The terror threat is still rife and all measures should be taken to tame any plan.”
Authorities in Nairobi have asked citizens to be vigilant because Al-Shabaab militants have been using several occasions such as the ongoing World Cup in Qatar to attack. In 2010 during the South Africa edition, the militants killed over 76 people in Kampala, Uganda.
“It is at this time the militants know we might let our guard down as we watch” the World Cup, the official said.
Kenyan troops, who are deployed to Somalia under the banner of the African Union, are active along the border with Somalia. Peacekeepers from Burundi and Uganda are based in or near the Somali capital of Mogadishu, the seat of the federal government.
There are close to 3,500 KDFsoldiers in Somalia who are helping the country to stabilize after several years of instability. The soldiers have managed to liberate several strategic towns and villages including Kismayo, which was at one point under Al-Shabaab and one of the largest income-generating towns.