Kenyan jets bomb Somali rebels, kill 14
16 January 2012, 09:35
Mogadishu - Kenyan jets bombed an al-Shabaab rebel base in southern
Somalia on Sunday, killing a family of seven as well as seven fighters
from the insurgent group linked to al-Qaeda, residents said.
Kenya sent troops into anarchic Somalia in October after raids and
kidnappings it blamed on al-Shabaab, but the advance has slowed and
regional insecurity is no better. Somali rebels killed seven people in
an attack inside Kenya last week.
The jets bombed an al-Shabaab
base at Jilib, 120km north of Kismayu, the port city which is the
nerve-centre of rebel operations in the Horn of Africa country.
Residents and an al-Shabaab spokesperson said seven fighters were
killed. Five children and their parents died when a bomb hit their home
as they were sitting down to lunch.
"We are now collecting what
is left of their bodies," Sultun Abdullahi Wayo Arag, a clan leader and
close relative told Reuters by phone from the scene of the strike.
A spokesperson for the Western-backed Somali government's army, Mahmud
Farah, said two al-Shabaab bases had been targeted by their Kenyan
allies. He acknowledged some civilian deaths.
There was no
immediate comment from Kenya's army, which said on Saturday it had
advanced within striking distance of Kismayu, and would make its move
when the time was right.
forces pushed into Somalia after raids that threatened the tourism
industry in East Africa's biggest economy and wider regional
destabilisation. Kenya's army reckons as many as 500 Kenyans are
fighting with al-Shabaab.
Neighbouring Ethiopia has also sent
troops into Somalia to back its shaky government, which holds the
capital Mogadishu with the help of an African Union peacekeeping force.
In Beledweyne, a town near the Ethiopian border which was captured by
the Ethiopians about two weeks ago, a Somali official said police had
found the remains of up to 40 people killed over the past year.
"We must liberate the rest of the country as quickly as possible, before
we witness even more and much worse insanity from al-Shabaab," said
deputy information minister Abdullahi Bile Noor.
forces and rebels said an al-Shabaab fighter hurled a hand grenade at an
Ethiopian camp in Beledweyne late on Saturday. A soldier said there
were no casualties. Al-Shabaab said the attack killed an Ethiopian
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