Kenya mourns AU soldiers killed in Somalia

September 3, 2015 8:14 am
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Mohamed reiterated Kenya's commitment in working closely with the international community to stabilise the war-torn country/FILE
Mohamed reiterated Kenya’s commitment in working closely with the international community to stabilise the war-torn country/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has condemned this week’s Somalia attack by Al-Shabaab militants in which 50 African Union soldiers are believed to have died.

While passing her condolences to the families of the victims, Mohamed reiterated Kenya’s commitment in working closely with the international community to stabilise the war-torn country.

“The Government of the Republic of Kenya condemns this atrocious criminal act in the strongest terms possible. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of those innocent victims of the terror attack,” she bemoaned in a statement sent to newsrooms.

Somalia’s Al-Qaeda affiliate said the attack in Janale district, 80 kilometres southwest of Mogadishu in the lower Shabelle region, was revenge for the killing of seven civilians by Ugandan troops at a wedding in the town of Merka in July.

AMISOM has since said the camp was manned by soldiers from Uganda.

Western military sources say the attack began with the destruction of two bridges, cutting the camp off while a suicide car bomber rammed the base followed by an estimated 200 Shabaab fighters who overran the camp.

AMSIOM said its troops “undertook a tactical withdrawal” as the attack began.

Witnesses said the Shabaab took over the camp, looting weapons stores and loading corpses onto trucks.

READ: ‘At least 50 dead’ in Shabaab attack on AU base: Western sources

The group has previously gathered the bodies of dead soldiers for use in propaganda videos of its attacks.

“They were collecting dead bodies, I saw nearly 30 soldiers killed during the fighting,” said local resident Hussein Idris.

The Shabaab is fighting to overthrow the internationally-backed government in Mogadishu, which is protected by 22,000 AMISOM troops from Burundi, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

Tuesday’s attack on the camp in Janale is one of the deadliest yet against AMISOM troops. A similar attack on a military outpost in Lego in June killed dozens of Burundian soldiers.

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