Up to 200 Kenyan soldiers were killed in an attack on their camp in Somalia by al-Shabab last month, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said – although Kenya rejected the figure.– Aljazeera News
The al-Qaeda affiliated Islamist militant group al-Shabab, attacked the Somalian camp in January killing many of Kenya’s troop working under the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). For a while now, the al-Shabab group have been destroying lives and properties in East Africa, having for their aim the eradication of the education and ‘western ways’ in the region.
Taking responsibility for the attack, the militant group gloated of decimating about 100 Kenyan soldiers in the January attack. “If it is confirmed that 180 troops were killed, it would be al-Shabab’s deadliest assault since it was formed nearly a decade ago” – BBC.
In an interview on national television, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, gave a death toll of 180 but it appears the media is getting counter reactions from Kenyan army spokesman David Obonyo. The President shared his empathy for the families of the brutally murdered members of the Kenyan troop who had come to Somalia on a peace-keeping mission.
Kenyans are generally not happy about this development, thus their army in retaliation attacked perceived al-Shabab camps with air strikes.
The unspecified death toll figures for the January attack that happened at el-Ade, south-western region of Gedo, Somalia, is gradually gaining a political undertone. There are speculations that the number could possibly be higher, making it the “bloodiest” on Kenyan troop since they stepped into Somalia’s security case.
“Ask the source of the information to clarify it. Maybe he knows his sources…Secondly, we should stop trivializing the dead. They are not mere statistics. They ought to be treated with honor and respect,” -Col. David Obonyo, Kenyan Army Spokesman.
Speculations have it that President Mohamud is probably with-holding the figures to protect the relationship between the two East African nations. However BBC reports that the community leader who counted the bodies after the El-Ade Al-Shabab Attack, arrived at a 190 dead bodies.
Either way, Kenya who has about 4000 troop under the AU mission to fight al-Shabab, is not convinced about President Mohamud’s figures; and in fact, still aggrieved at the loss of her military talents.
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