Kenyan forces repel militants’ attack on military base in Somalia
AFMADOW, Somalia – Heavily armed suspected Al-Shabaab militants have launched an attack on Afmadow town in Somalia’s southern Lower Jubba region on Thursday morning, Garowe Online reports.
Sources tell Garowe Online that the militants fired rocket-propelled grenades and light weapons at a military camp, where an unspecified number of Kenyan defense forces [KDF] are stationed.
The fighters have engaged in heavy firefights with the KDF soldiers who were reportedly responded with heavy fire to the pre-dawn assault on their Afmadow base.
“The fighters were initially able to gain access to the Kenyan army base but were stopped by the forces,” said a resident, adding that there were no casualties among the Kenyan troops.
The militants largely retreated from the city, after they were prevented from entering the base and encountered resistance, said the villager who spoke to Garowe Online on condition of anonymity.
The strategic town was now in the hands of Somali and Kenyan soldiers since 2012 after capturing it from Al-Shabaab during a joint military operation that also saw the liberation of the port city, Kismayo.
The Kenyan forces that are part of the AU mission in Somalia have faced many deadly attacks by Al-Shabaab and lost hundreds of combat soldiers since they were deployed into the country in 2011.
Al-Shabaab was driven out of several key areas in Somalia as the U.S. has intensified its air campaign against the Al-Qaeda-linked group and ISIL-affiliated militants in the Horn of Africa country.