21 March 2019

Somalia: 5 KDF Soldiers Reportedly Killed in Al-Shabab Ambush

Photos purpoting to show the aftermath of KDF withdrawal and Alshabaab take over of KDF Military base in Busaar.

At least five KDF soldiers were reportedly killed by a roadside bomb in Elwak Somalia.

The soldiers had moved from their base in Busaar and were heading to the Kenyan border when the attack occurred.

Pictures from the scene showed a burned lorry and an Armed Personnel Carrier (APC) which were destroyed in the attack. Kenyan authorities have not commented on the incident.

Meanwhile, Al-Shabab took over the Busaar base which was occupied by Kenyan soldiers. Somalia authorities had questioned the rationale of the withdrawal in the Southern Somalia region, arguing that the militant group would wreak havoc on the residents as the local troops did not have the capacity to man the region.

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Panic as KDF Withdraw From Bases

The leaders say Kenyan troops started withdrawing from Somalia after moving out of Busar, KDF's command centre in the northern sector of Jubaland, a town that was liberated in the first 100 days of their entry into Somalia.

On Tuesday morning, a contingent of troops made the final withdrawal from Busar. "Our people spotted the troops heading towards the Somali border. They destroyed their military base before leaving," a senior politician from Gedo, who requested not to be named for fear of reprisals by both KDF and Somali security forces, said

Busar is in Gedo region, where KDF recorded their greatest loss in history during the El Adde attack, in which about 200 soldiers died.

Mr Aw Hirsi, the Minister for Planning and International Cooperation in Jubaland, said the withdrawal had left the people uncertain as to whether the departure of the Kenyans could secure the region lasting peace and tranquillity, or whether it could further land their weary souls into the hands of Al-Shabaab militants.

The KDF operated bases in Bardera, Busar and El Adde, all of which it has since abandoned. It also had forward operating bases FOBs in Taraka and Fafadun, from which it also withdrew.

The Kenyan troops withdrew from Bardera in September 2017, and it fell back into the hands of Al-Shabaab. The departure came just five days after it abandoned its base in Bardera.

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