Nairobi Star (Nairobi)
21 November 2011
At least 40 al Shabaab fighters are reported to have been seriously injured following fighting between them and Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government troops in Kulbiyow and Badhaadhe areas in Lower Juba.
Kenya Defence Forces and TFG troops backed by Ras Kamboni militia have been slowly moving into al Shabaab strongholds and taking over training camps in the joint quest to rout the militia.
Kulbiyow, Badhaadhe,Afgoye, Jilib and Lanta Buro have been heavily bombarded in the last two weeks as Kenyan military,TFG troops and Ras Kamboni fighters battle al Shabaab. On another front, Ethiopian troops were on Saturday reported to have entered 50km into Somalia in pursuit of al Shabaab and Ogaden National Liberation Front fighters. The Ethiopian troops were seen in Balanbale area in Galgaduud and are believed to be heading to Guricel.
Meanwhile, heavy fighting erupted in Mogadishu’s North East district of Karaan pitting the radical militant group of al Shabaab and TFG/AU forces on Friday night. Karaan residents told The Star that the al Shabaab launched surprise attacks on Amisom bases causing heavy casualties to the AU forces in that troubled district.
Residents say that AU forces were shelling civilian dominated areas and not the actual al Shabaab targets as they claim. Mogadishu comprises of 16 districts and 14 are fully under the Somali government and AU control but pockets of Al-Shabaab continue to launch deadly attacks in Karaan and Daynille district where the group has been unable to be toppled there.
Al Shabaab changed its military tactic to urban warfare from their normal guerrilla warfare with two suicide blasts in the heartland of the capital claiming more than 100 people mainly students. In South Somalia, the Kenyan troops are still waging a deadly offensive to flush out the al Shabaab who Kenya accuses of being the recent kidnapping in Kenyan soil.
The Kenyan army is however moving at a slow pace as compared to their entry into Somali in early October as a part of ‘Operation Linda Nchi’. The fighting has hampered the flow of Somali refugees who despite the fighting continue to flock into Kenya to join their colleagues at Daadab and Ifo camps and benefit from the relative peace, relief aid and medicine.
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