A Kenya Defense Forces special forces team [KDF] launched a series of air strikes along the Kenya-Somalia border over the weekend, officials said during a sophisticated operation targeting Al-Shabaab militants.
Barely a few hours after the unprecedented raid by activists at the Khorof Kharar police station, the KDF team bombed possible hiding places in a series of air strikes, with details of the victims still scarce.
A group of Al-Shabaab activists raided the police station on Saturday morning before destroying a telecommunications mast by Safaricom in an attack that saw police taking refuge in nearby thickets, officials said. sources.
Thomas Ngeywa, the police commander of Wajir, told reporters that the raid targeted Al-Shabaab, who is said to have hidden in the nearby bushes after the police raid. This is the first team that the KDF team has launched air strikes inside the borders of Kenya, he added.
“Our KDF counterparts launched air strikes against Shabaab militants overnight in response to a previous attack and we believe they may have suffered heavy losses in the process,” he said.
“However, we cannot say the exact number of victims,” he added, who praised the multi-agency team for working tirelessly to secure the porous border between Kenya and Somalia, which recently saw an influx of suspected activists cross the border. Kenyan side.
During the raid on Saturday, militants linked to Al-Qaeda also looted an arsenal and took away three rifles, according to a security official. Initially, the authorities dissipated reports that the weapons were stolen.
Activists also allegedly planted improvised explosive devices [IEDs] on the Qarsa-Konton road. It is believed that some officers may have been injured after their vehicle ran over an IED.
The counties of Wajir, Mandera and Garissa have been the battleground of activists in recent weeks, who have seen them launch nearly 20 attacks in the largest districts of the northern border, forcing thousands of non-local teachers to leave.
A confidential report from the KDF team recently revealed that the militants had moved closer to Kenya with the intention of launching sustained attacks during the holy month of Ramadhan. However, he added, such attacks had been thwarted due to the strong presence of security forces in the region.
In addition to targeting non-locals, the group targeted local security agents attached to the contingent of national police reservists, whom they accused of “cooperating” with the KDF by sharing information about their fate.
In particular in Garissa, activists burned houses belonging to the NPR in addition to kidnapping close family members as part of a “punishment” for having “worked” against their will. There have also been reports of raids on villages for food.
The attack on Saturday also came amid reports that the group had started imposing harsh taxes on people in northeast Kenya due to the dwindling financial fortunes in its Somali territories.
A number of local agents were warned, which informed the KDF airstrikes along the border. The attack on a police station took place nearly 30 kilometers from the shared border with Somalia, raising further concerns for the safety of people in the region.
Meanwhile, the KDF also continued the attack on militants after Saturday’s operation in Bilis Qooqani, where the team killed three terrorists while saving Jubaland forces who had been attacked by Al-Shabaab, a said Colonel Zipporah Kioko’s spokesperson.
Activists remain severely degraded despite their ability to carry out small and large-scale sporadic attacks across East Africa, the US Africa Command recently said. The group wants to overthrow the fragile Somali government supported by the UN.