2 January 2018

Kenya: Five Militants Killed in KDF Strike Near Somali Border

Photo: Stephen Astariko/The Star
Police cars in Garissa (file photo).

Kenya Defence Forces soldiers on Sunday killed five suspected Al-Shabaab militants believed to have been involved in the attack on Ijara Police Station in Garissa.

KDF said a vehicle that had been taken away by the militants during the attack on the Ijara station on Saturday December 30 was destroyed after explosives it was carrying exploded during a gunfight that ensued between the soldiers and the militants.

The forces have been combing the vast Boni Forest in Lamu County for the terror gang believed to have hideouts there.

"The troops caught up with the Al-Shabaab terrorists as they tried to get to the Somali border. Five terrorists were killed while others fled with injuries," KDF spokesman Colonel David Obonyo said, adding that the suspects fled to the general area of Sarira, some 25 kilometres north of Baure.

Col Obonyo said a motorcycle also suspected to have been stolen in Ijara, 5 AK-47 rifles, 13 magazines with 370 rounds of ammunition, 2 grenades and bomb-making materials were also recovered.

The terrorist group, according to Col Obonyo, was using the police vehicle they seized from the National Police Service, to transport some materials in the area between Lamu and Garissa counties.

He appealed to the public to inform authorities of any strangers they come across seeking treatment for bullet wounds.

Saturday attack

The Saturday dawn attack on the Ijara Police Station was reportedly conducted by more than 15 members of the terror group, who burnt it down before making away with the vehicle.

Col Obonyo assured the public that the operation against Al -Shabaab would continue until the terrorists were eliminated and the locals allowed to enjoy their peace.

Security officials believe that members of the terror group have increasingly been infiltrating the Lakta Belt near Boni Forest as they flee increasing air strikes in Kolbiyo and part of Badana in Somalia.

The attack on Ijara was purportedly meant to revenge an airstrike conducted by KDF and troops drawn from the US Army two days earlier.

During the airstrike conducted in Bohadi in Gedo Region, 19 militants were killed and several injured.

More than 1,000 residents of Jima, Poromoko, Pandanguo, Kakathe, Maleli, Nyonmgoro and neighbouring areas in Witu division have been putting up at IDP camps set up at Katsaka Kairu and at the AIC Church in Witu since early July this year, after the attacks drove them from their homes.

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