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Al-Nabhani batallion commander killed in KDF airstrike, Kenya’s defence chief says

Storyline:National News, Security

Kenya’s military chief Gen Samson Mwathethe has said the Al-Shabaab commander who led the El-Adde attack last Friday has been killed in an airstrike by KDF warplanes.

Speaking during a media briefing Thursday, Mwathathe said Maalim Janow who headed the Al-Nabhani brigade which attacked the Kenyan military base in Gedo region was decimated by KDF airstrikes as the military continued its search and rescue mission.

Gen Mwathathe said Kenya could not yet account for all the soldiers who were based at the camp during the attack.

A number of survivors have however been rescued and flown to Nairobi for treatment including one soldier who was yesterday pulled out alive from a pile of bodies in the camp. A total of 23 bodies have so far been airlifted to Nairobi.

Gen Mwathathe did not however give any figures regarding the death toll but said Kenyan troops were still on the rescue mission. Earlier KDF said Kenyan Special Forces had taken full control of the El-Adde camp despite fears Al-Shabaab may have rigged the camp with explosives.

The defence chief said Al-Shabaab militants detonated explosives at the centre of the KDF camp also targeting the command centre which is said to have been the armoury.

Gen Mwathethe said a KDF aircraft that was headed to Kismayu was diverted to El-Adde on the first day to confirm the attack but it encountered anti-aircraft gunfire and could not attempt any rescue.

The first reinforcement reached the area on the third day after the attack.

The Kenyan military chief added that investigations were underway to unearth circumstances leading to the attack amid claims Somali National Army officials had passed intelligence to the KDF base commandant at El-Adde.