NAIROBI, Kenya — At least nine Kenya Defence Forces troops were killed when a vehicle they were travelling in was hit by an explosive in Gherille in Gedo in Somalia.
Officials said five others were injured in the incident that happened Monday afternoon. This was after the lorry carrying the troops ran over an Improvised Explosive Device that had been set on the roadside by al-Shabaab militants operating in the area.
The lorry was in a convoy that had drawn water from a point inside Kenya and was crossing into Somalia for use when it happened at about 1 pm. Details of the incident were scanty and the military at the Department of Defence headquarters did not comment on the same immediately.
Images of the affected lorry showed it had been badly damaged. Officials said the Kenya Army troops who were injured were flown to Nairobi for medical attention.
This shows the threat of IEDs remains persistent in particular areas. Officials said the terrorists are exploiting the low-cost strategy and deploying them near operating bases or main supply routes to attack their targets.
This is happening both locally especially in the northern part of the country and in Somalia. KDF troops are among those under Amisom that are operating in Somalia.
Their aim is to suppress al-Shabaab activities in the region. KDF went to Somalia in October 2011. Kenya’s incursion into southern Somalia started after the kidnapping of two Spanish women, who were working for MSF at the Dadaab refugee camp.
The abductions were carried out by the militants who the troops planned to push away under Operation Linda Nchi. Two years later, the troops managed to take control of Kismayo port under Operation Sledge Hammer.
The government saw the attacks as a threat to the country’s sovereignty as it targeted tourism, which is an economic lifeline.
Sources: The Star