A Kenyan air strike in southern Somalia killed 30 Islamist militants including commanders of the al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab movement, the army said.
The strike took place at about 6 p.m. yesterday at Birta Dhere, 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Garbarahey in Gedo region, Kenya Defence Forces spokesman Cyrus Oguna said by phone today from the capital, Nairobi. Militant commanders had gathered in the area for a meeting, he said. Scores of people were injured and five vehicles and other “key assets” destroyed, Kenya’s military said on its Twitter account.
“This strike is part of efforts to degrade al-Shabaab by targeting their infrastructure, including command centers, communications centers and logistics,” Oguna said.
Kenyan forces intervened in the Horn of Africa country in 2011 after accusing al-Shabaab of several kidnappings and the killing of a British tourist on its soil. The militants vowed to retaliate, and in September claimed responsibility for an attack on Nairobi’s Westgate shopping mall that killed at least 67 civilians and security personnel.
Kenya’s more than 3,600 soldiers in Somalia are part of a 22,000-member African Union peacekeeping mission in the country.
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