Bloomberg News

Kenyan Military Battles Militia Group, Secures Somalia Border

February 18, 2012

Feb. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Kenya’s military has pushed the al- Shabaab militia group from a 95,000 square-kilometer area of Somalia and secured 860 kilometers (534 miles) of the two nations’ common border, said Cyrus Oguna, a spokesman for the Kenya Defence Forces said.

The secured zone stretches about 110 kilometers into Somalia, Oguna told reporters today in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Ten Kenyan soldiers have been killed in direct combat, five in a helicopter crash, 10 are nursing injuries in hospital while one is missing at sea, he said, declining to give the number of al-Shabaab casualties.

Kenyan soldiers entered Somali territory in October to battle the al-Shabaab, a group linked to al-Qaeda that has waged a four-year campaign to remove the Western-backed transitional government of President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. The military campaign started after Kenya accused al-Shabaab of murdering a British tourist at a luxury resort and other attacks on holidaymakers and aid workers.

Another 30 Kenyan civilians have been killed in al-Shabaab retaliatory attacks inside the east African nation, Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said during the briefing.

--Editor: Ben Holland.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Ombok in Nairobi at eombok@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Shaji Mathew at shajimathew@bloomberg.net


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