Published: Mon, January 30, 2017
Sport | By Cecil Buchanan

Kenya, al-Shabab each claims to kill scores

Kenya, al-Shabab each claims to kill scores

KDF spokesman Paul Njuguna denied the Shabaab claims and said Kenyan soldiers had fought back, killing numerous Islamists. The KDF base was attacked at 5am on Friday and the number of casualties remained unconfirmed, it reported.

The country's military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Paul Njuguna, tells Newsweek that "an attempted attack" was launched at around 5 a.m. local time on the base in Kulbiyow, which lies in Somalia's extreme south, close to the Kenyan border.

Al Shabaab, whose assessment of casualties often differs markedly from official versions, typically rams the entrance to a target site with a vehicle or truck bomb so fighters can storm in.

In response, the Kenyan military spokesperson indicated that claims from the group were false as the operation was still ongoing.

In the attack on Friday, the Shabab claimed to have killed 57 Kenyan soldiers, which would make the latest assault one of the deadliest in recent memory.

The Shabaab, which once controlled much of Somalia, is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu.

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"Fighters have taken control of the base and the overall Kolbiyow area after massacring the Kenyan infidels", the statement said.

Al-Qaida's East African affiliate is fighting to impose a strict version of Islam in the Horn of Africa nation.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) soldiers prepare to receive the bodies of Kenyan soldiers killed by Al Shabaab, at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Jan. 18, 2016.

The Kenyan government acknowledged the fatalities, without giving its own toll. The town's proximity to Somalia makes it an easy target for Al-Shabaab militants to carry out its attacks.

African Union Commission (AUC) chairwoman Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has strongly condemned Friday's terrorist attack on an African Union Mission to Somalia (Amisom) camp at Kolbiyow in Lower Jubba, Somalia.

Somalia is due to hold a presidential vote in early February, signalling the end of a drawn-out electoral process in which a new parliament has also been selected.

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