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Al-Shabaab raids KDF bases in Somalia

By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

KISMAYO, Somalia - The Al-Shabaab militants raided a Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] military base within Sector II of AMISOM, reports indicate, in yet another attack that comes amid increasing insurgency across the country, which has seen dozens of military officers die in various ambushes staged by the group.

Preliminary reports indicate that the militants raided Taabta Forward Operating Base near Dhobley, AMISOM's Sector II headquarters, in an attack that witnessed significant opposition from the KDF team, which eventually managed to overcome the militants, who are said to have attacked in large numbers.

The base is one of the security posts that protects the main supply routes to Kismayo, the regional administrative capital of Jubaland, a state in Somalia which Kenya uses as the main buffer zone. KDF officers usually help humanitarian teams to move around the country.

Eyewitnesses said heavy gunfire was reported outside the base as the militants tried to run over it, with reports indicating that the overpowered militants managed to vanish from the scene. Details about casualties remain sketchy, but it's believed that a number of militants were killed.

This is the second time the militants are trying to overrun the KDF base, which is one of the most protected stations within Sector II. Last month, the militants failed to break through against due to stiff resistance by the KDF according to Brigadier Paul Njema, the commander of Sector II.

Al-Shabaab militants have often targeted military bases, both those owned by the Somali National Army [SNA] and AMISOM, and at times, they have attempted to raid the US Africa Command bases in the war-torn nation. On Wednesday, the militants ambushed SNA troops near Afgoye, in a fight that left 18 soldiers dead.

The Federal Government of Somalia said that despite the fact that the army was overwhelmed, over 60 militants were killed on spot by the gallant soldiers. This was the second major assault targeting security forces in Somalia after the February incident at Lower Shebelle where several soldiers were killed in El-Salini military base.

But for KDF, the militants have often failed to make a breakthrough due to resistance in recent days. Since January, Al-Shabaab has made close to 10 failed attempts against the Kenyan military bases in Somalia which are found in the larger Jubba regions.

It's in 2016 when the KDF suffered immense losses after the militants raided the El-Adde army base leaving over 200 soldiers dead. This was followed by another devastating attack against KDF at Kulbiyow army base where another 70 military officers were killed by the Al-Shabaab.

Kenya maintains that it will continue staying in Somalia until stability is achieved, a move that could make them stay a little longer. However, all the peacekeeping troops are expected to leave by the end of 2021 upon the implementation of the Somali Transition Plan [STP].