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Somalia’s Al-Shabaab fighters kill 8 Kenya soldiers

Al-Shabaab militants [Twitter]

Eight Kenyan soldiers were killed in a cross-border attack on Sunday in northern Wajir County, VOA News reported yesterday.

The Kenyan security forces were patrolling the Kenya-Somali border when Al-Shabaab fighters launched an ambush using artillery and an improvised explosive device (IED).

“[Al-Shabab] started shooting at them and killed all of them, only to leave one who was still alive,” said Issa Ahmed Abdi, a member of the Wajir county assembly, “but when we were bringing him to Wajir referral hospital, he succumbed to the injuries on the way.”

“It could have been prevented, because the public have actually given first-hand information that these elements were there and that these elements themselves said they are going to do an action that the people will regret,” he said.

Somalia’s domestic problem with political violence has spilled over to Kenya on a number of occasions, resulting in deadly clashes. According to VOA News, this is the second time this year that Al-Shabaab launched an attack across the border in Wajir County.

In mid-February this year, three school teachers were killed when Al-Shaabab attacked the Qarsa Primary School in Wajir. A fourth teacher was injured in the attack, while Kenya’s police had to deal with IEDs planted around the school.

In early May, Al-Shabaab detonated an IED which killed some nine Kenyan soldiers as they crossed the border into Somalia.

Al-Shabaab is striking targets within Kenya as a result of its involvement with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) which backs Somalia’s federal government. Al-Shabaab has been at war with the Somalia government for over a decade, and in 2012 pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda attracting an international counter-terrorism presence.

Senior official’s part of AMISOM and the Kenya government met last week at a conference hosted in Nairobi dubbed “Lessons Learned on Quick Impact Projects Implementation”, which sought to strengthen Somalia’s military, civilian and police intervention strategy.

Al-Shabaab’s main political ambition is to take control and govern Somalia with a strict interpretation of Islamic law.

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