Shabaab desperate, Kenyan forces say

January 21, 2012 12:51 pm

, NAIROBI, Kenya, January 21 – The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) on Saturday said that the Al Shabaab militia had resorted to using women wearing bras fitted with explosives to further their cause.

Speaking during a press briefing, military spokesman Cyrus Oguna said that the militia was getting desperate and had started using unconventional means to strike back at the Kenyan army.

He added that the outlawed group was also using the spread of propaganda, such as killing civilians and claiming they are KDF officials, as their new weapon.

“We are all aware that Al-Shabaab for a long time prohibited women from wearing bras. The phenomenon that is emerging now is that Al-Shabaab is using these women who are in their ranks and supplying them with bras that are fitted with explosives and this is something that is critical even to homeland security,” he explained.

He said that they were also dressing up as civilians in a bid to fool both the Somali people and the Kenya Defense Forces.

“They now dress like herders and in one incident, they fired at our troops and our troops fired back and they complained that we were firing at civilians,” he observed.

“They are trying to make us look bad by trying to engage non combatants. However, Al Shabaab dressing like me at one minute does not make him a civilian when he dresses otherwise the next minute,” he pointed out.

He however expressed confidence that the surveillance of the Kenya Army was fool proof and could not be defeated by the tactics.

“Later on Al Shabaab did claim that they killed four KDF soldiers and they burnt a vehicle. Logic would prevail that Al Shabaab would not burn a vehicle because they will need to use it and therefore, that explained the cheap propaganda that they are trying to use,” he said.

He said that Kenya’s battle to crush the al Qaeda-linked insurgency had reached the halfway mark and said its forces struck several command centers and logistic facilities operated by the Al Shabaab group.

“The war is almost half lost; Al Shabaab is now facing serious challenges as far as command and control is concerned and logistical support,” he said. “It will not take a very long time before Al Shabaab is completely buried.”

Oguna said that in the past week, Kenyan forces had destroyed four of Al Shabaab’s organisational camps, some in the areas of Jilib and Bibi.

“One of the engagements occurred around Tabda where they engaged our troops but they were repulsed. This frustrated them and they fired indiscriminately to a civilian settlement and four people were killed,” he revealed.

Deputy Police Spokesman Charles Owino in the meantime urged entertainment spots owners to heighten their vigilance especially during the Africa Cup of Nations set to take place in Equatorial Guinea.

Owino said terrorists may target large crowds of people and that it is vital that screening is intensified in areas where people will be watching the matches.

He was speaking during the weekly security briefing at the Department of Defence where he pointed out that terror cells were now resorting to subtle means to target civilians.

“We are coming to a period where we are going to have the African Cup of Nations and you know that it will be watched by a large number of citizens up to very late hours,” he said.

“We call upon the owners of entertainment spots to ensure that they undertake proper screening and if they will need our support in this, then they should get in touch with the officers in charge of the stations.”

His sentiments came ahead of the opening ceremony expected to take place Saturday in Equatorial Guinea.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga has left the country and is expected to grace the occasion and also watch the opening match of the tournament.


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