Somalia: IED blasts hit U.S., AU convoy outside Kismayo
KISMAYO, Somalia - Two roadside bomb explosions struck a military convoy carrying Kenyan Defense Forces [KDF] near the southern port town of Kismayo on Thursday, Garowe Online reports.
A military officer at the scene, who asked not to be named, told GO that KDF Soldiers serving with the African Union Mission for Somalia (AMISOM) are feared dead after their convoy was hit by powerful roadside bombs.
The Al Qaeda-linked Al-Shabab group has claimed responsibility for the attack through a statement, saying they used remote-controlled landmines to attack the African Union soldiers on the outskirts of Kismayo.
Sources said the KDF convoy came under ambush as it left the seaside city and transporting supplies to Kenyan military bases in Goof-Gaduud village.
An exchange of gunfire broke out between the allied troops and the attackers shortly after the blasts.
American soldiers were reported to have been traveling with the Kenyan forces in the convoy at the time of the IED attack. There have been no immediate reports of casualties.
AMISOM, however, has not yet commented on the incident.
The United States has since 2013 deployed an estimated 500 soldiers to Somalia to assist forces from the Federal government of Somali in the fight al-Shabaab, the extremist group that once ruled most parts of Somalia.
As part of their advise and assist mission, American special operations forces accompany Somali troops in raids against al-Shabaab strongholds, targeting senior commanders.
On Wednesday, Somali military said the U.S.-trained commandos, known as Danab seized control of Bar-Sanguni, a small town located 50Km north of Kismayo from Al-Shabab militants following an operation.
At least seven extremists were killed during the offensive, according to the military.