30 militants including key commanders killed in Kenya

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Nairobi, Jan 10 (IANS) Kenya military jet fighters attacked an Al Shabab militant camp killing over 30 militants, including several of its key commanders, a Kenyan defence spokesman said.

Kenya Defence Forces spokesman Cyrus Oguna said the attack took place at Garbarahey in the Gedo region of Somalia late Thursday and saw scores of the insurgents escape with multiple injuries.

“Yes, our forces Thursday attacked (an) Al Shabab camp and killed more than 30 militants, where a meeting was being held. I will provide more information later,” Oguna told Xinhua.

“Initial battle damage assessment indicates more than 30 Al Shabab militants (were) killed including key commanders. More than five vehicles and key assets were destroyed,” Oguna added.

The latest attack comes after a similar attack in November last year which also left at least 30 Al Shabab fighters dead. Somalian and Kenyan soldiers attacked the militants’ hideout in Kolbio in Somalia and killed the militants.

The raids are part of Africa Union Peacekeeping Mission’s operational plan for sustained offensive operations against the Al Shabab militant group.

The African Union forces have been very active in the recent past after the Sep 21 attack last year at the Westgate shopping mall in Kenya, which left 68 people dead and over 200 others injured.

The Al Shabab has vowed reprisal attacks in the country, mainly targeting security forces in border towns of Kenya where dozens of people have been killed in landmine and grenade attacks blamed on the militant group.

Several hit-and-run grenade attacks occurred in recent months in the capital, Nairobi, and in northern Kenya and the port city of Mombasa.

The group, which has teamed up with global terror network Al Qaeda, has vowed an all-out war in Kenya in protest against the military incursions against them.

The East African nation had launched a cross-border incursion into Somalia in 2011 in pursuit of the militants.

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