Thirty al-Shabaab militants were killed and two Kenya Defence Force soldiers injured over the weekend as the insurgents attempted to block anticipated AMISOM troop advance to Kismayu.
Three double cabin "technicals" (gun-mounted pick ups), and a tractor were destroyed and five AK-47 rifles and an RPG gun recovered from the al Qaeda-linked militants.
Sources in Somalia said 30 al-Shabaab fighters were killed in Harbole about 30 kilometres South of Afmadhow towards Kismayu when Kenya Airforce fighter jets pounded the insurgents camp. Many more militants, who were injured in the aerial raid, were taken by their colleagues to hospitals in Kismayu. The insurgents had set up camp to block the presumed AMISOM troop advance to Kismayu.
In another incident, 17 al-Shabab fighters were killed between Badhadhe and Kolbio areas during an ambush on a KDF supply convoy the following day. The insurgents had attempted to disrupt the supply line between the two camps but were repulsed Five AK 47 rifles, five hand grenades and one RPG machine gun were recovered during the incident. The surviving insurgents escaped towards Bula Haji.
According to sources in the area of combat, two KDF soldiers sustained injuries during the fighting. Two others who were part of a group of al-Shabaab, who ambushed an AMISOM convoy on supply duties moving from Busaar to Fafadun. An Improvised Explosive Device that had been laid on the road by the insurgents exploded when one truck ran over it.
Meanwhile, the al Shabaab in twitter message have claimed to have destroyed two KDF vehicles and killed six soldiers during the ambush. The the information could not be independently verified. The insurgents who have been fighting the UN-backed Somalia Transitional Federal Government were repulsed when they ambushed another convoy between Badhaadhe and Kulbiyow.
The attacks come as KDF, who recently re-hatted and formally joined AMISIOM, have started preparations to begin the march on al-Shabaab's last bastion port city of Kismayu. Several senior military and governments leaders from troop contributing countries and African Union officials met in Nairobi last week to discuss strategies for the take-over of Kismayu.