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KDF says it killed 19 Al-Shabaab fighters in Afmadow

Storyline:National News

Kenya Defence Forces Tuesday killed 19 Al-Shabab fighters, who according to KDF spokesman Col David Obonyo, wanted to launch attack on military base of Somali National Army (SNA) in Afmadhow, Lower Juba Region.

Obanyo said the killings happened at about 10 am and that the militants planned an attack on a camp occupied by the AMISOM and Somali National Army troops.

“Kenyan troops on patrol Tuesday night, in the southern city of Afmadow, found a group of militants suspected to have been preparing to attack a Somali National Army camp,” said Obonyo.

“The Al-Shabaab terrorists had approached the camp at night with the intention to attack and cut off the SNA from AMISOM (KDF) camp. KDF soldiers on patrol identified the militants and engaged them in a fierce battle.” he added.

Obonyo said that the militants attempted to fight back but were swiftly repulsed by the KDF soldiers on patrol and those at the camp

The Army said they recovered a vehicle, 10 AK 47 rifles and three Rocket Propelled Grenades.

Al-Shabaab targets SNA and AMISOM military bases

Al-Shabab, which is allied to al-Qaida, is waging an insurgency against Somalia’s United Nations-backed government, carrying out deadly attacks on military and civilian targets in and out of Somalia.

Among six countries contributing troops under the banner of the African Union Mission in Somalia, three countries namely Burundi, Uganda and Kenya lost over 80 soldiers each to attacks on military bases.

On 26th June, Al-Qaida-linked group launches major attack on AMISOM base in village of Lego in southern Somalia where the group claimed to have killed more than seventy Burundian soldiers.

Less than a week after Shabaab’s attack on the African Union base in Lego, the al Qaeda branch has released several photos of the event that appear to verify some of the group’s claims.

The photos show the attack on the military base, as well as Shabaab fighters killing dozens of Burundian troops.

Many of the photos released by the jihadist group were too graphic to be published. However, other photos showed a number of captured weapons and vehicles, as well as Burundian military uniforms. Three photos showed a jihadist destroying a makeshift church used by the Burundian troops.

In August 2015, almost ten months after Leego, the group overran AMISOM military base manned by Ugandan soldiers in Janaale town 80 Kilometers from Mogadishu .

Al-Shabaab said to have killed over 75 soldiers and captured several others.

Uganda issued a statement, through its president, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni confirming 7 soldiers as missing after the military attack.

Two months later, Al-Shabab released a video showing its members killing African Union soldiers during an attack on their base in Somalia in September. The video, released by SITE Intelligence Group, which monitors jihadi activities, shows armed fighters rampaging through what looks like a camp for Ugandan troops, who form part of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia.

Fighters from the Al-Shabab group have attacked a base for African Union peacekeepers in El-Adde town in southwestern 0n 15th January 2016.

The group boasted to have killed over sixty Kenya soldiers.

EU cut funding gives Al-Shabaab chance

AU leaders have expressed their concerns of what impact a lower budget could have on the mission’s day-to-day operations.

“This measure will no doubt affect the personnel who are making the ultimate sacrifice in service of Africa. Especially now, when more is expected of AMISOM, It is my view that we should pursue various funding mechanisms to sustain the current support for AMISOM,” Ambassador Francisco Caetano José Madeira, head of AMISOM, said.

The EU’s decision to cut funding will mean that the pay of AMISOM soldiers will decrease from $828 a month to less than $165.

Analysts in Somalia say that EU’s will give Al-Shabaab fighters chance to regroup and double their attacks on military bases as feeling demoralized, soldiers will not be as active as before.