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Kenya’s soldiers injured in Somalia’s Shebab attack return home

By Tajuddin
Jan 17th, 2016
A Kenya Defence Forces Soldier, injured in an al Shabaab attack in Somalia, is attended to upon arrival at Wilson Airport in Nairobi on Sunday. Photo/COLLINS KWEYU

A Kenya Defence Forces Soldier, injured in an al Shabaab attack in Somalia, is attended to upon arrival at Wilson Airport in Nairobi on Sunday. Photo/COLLINS KWEYU

Nairobi, Kenya ( The Star + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Several Kenyan soldiers injured in an al Shabaab attack on an African Union base in El Adde, Somalia were flown to Kenya on Sunday.

Four of the Kenya Defence Forces soldiers were received at Wilson Airport in Nairobi following the attack whose number of casualties is yet to be released.

In a statement at the airport on Sunday, Defence CS Raychelle Omamo said other soldiers were earlier flown in via Moi Air Base.

Details will be sent directly to families, Omamo said, adding: “Allow the families privacy as they mourn. Full details of those injured and killed will be made public after families affected are notified.”

“The soldiers who were airlifted were critically injured. Be patient, information will be availed to you. We are determined to bring our soldiers home.”

The KDF will set up counselling centres in Eldoret, Gilgil and at the Armed Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi.

The soldiers were airlifted for specialised treatment, Interior CS Joseph Nkaissery said in Mombasa, adding the number of casualties will be released soon.

Nkaissery said al Shabaab suffered the higher number of victims during the siege on Friday that lasted more than 12 hours.

“They lost more than we did. Let’s not pre–empt the outcome of the attack. A statement will be released soon,” he said.

Al Shabaab claimed on Sunday that it had captured some Kenyan soldiers during the attack but did not say how many. It also raised its number of slain soldiers from 63 to 100.

The CS said more KDF troops, alongside others serving under Amisom, will be deployed to the camp, about 550 km west of Mogadishu.

He said Amisom troops were combing the area for militants behind the ambush, which has been described as the worst against the KDF since their incursion into Somalia in 2011.

Nkaissery said Kenyan troops are winning the war against al Shabaab in Somalia. He said they have set up elaborate strategies against the terror group, which he said has lost its strongholds.

The war against terrorism, radicalisation and extremism will continue as planned, he said. He urged Kenyans to be vigilant and report suspicious people to authorities, considering the rising number of terror attacks across the world.

He added: “We have cautioned against the sharing of bloody photos of the dead. This emboldens the enemy and brings grief to their loved ones. We are investigating a few individuals; action will be taken.”

Chief of Defence Forces Samson Mwathethe, who spoke at Wilson Airport, said al Shabaab raided the camp in three vehicles loaded with explosives.

Mwathathe said the government’s priority is pursuing the attackers behind the Friday ambush and going on “a search, rescue and recovery mission”.

“Our troops are currently engaging al shaabab. We do not wish to divulge more information,” he said. The KDF and Amisom have not given details of the attack.

He said bodies of soldiers who were killed will arrive today.

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