, NAIROBI, Nov 14 – Kenyan forces killed nine Shabaab rebels during a shoot-out in southern Somalia where Nairobi deployed troops last month to battle the extremist militia, the army spokesman said on Sunday.
Four Kenyan troops were wounded in the late Saturday clash, Emmanuel Chirchir said in a Twitter message, but did not specify the location of the incident.
“On 12 November at 11:30pm the KDF and TFG while on patrol duty bumped into an Al Shabaab camp, shot dead nine of them,” Chirchir said, referring to the Kenyan forces and Somali government troops.
“KDF (Kenyan forces) confiscated ammunition, weapons and Rocket Propelled Grenades from the Al Shabaab camp.”
Chirchir added that Kenyan soldiers also raided a border town late on Saturday where they seized weapons and arrested four men, including one Kenyan, following a tip-off that the Shabaab fighters were buying arms.
Three Somali women were also arrested. Chirchir said the soldiers seized two AK 47 rifles, several ammunitions, rocket-propelled grenades and $9,200.
Kenyan forces deployed tanks and troops to the Shabaab-controlled southern Somalia on October 14 to fight the Al-Qaeda-linked rebels Nairobi blames for kidnapping foreigners and making cross-border raids.
However, one month since launching the offensive, the Kenyan troops have not advanced further than the first 100 kilometres (60 miles) drive inside the Somali territory due to bad weather.
On Saturday, Kenyan army officials said the Shabaab had changed tactics, resorting to setting explosives and operating in smaller groups of between two and five people.