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Al-Shabaab launches deadly attack on KDF in Somalia

27 January 2017
Al-Shabaab launches deadly attack on KDF in Somalia

Kulbiyow camp in Somalia occupied by the Kenyan military is now under heavy fire after a suspected Al shabaab attack.

"A big operation is now ongoing, nobody has had time to count casualties, mostly on their side", he said by phone from Nairobi, the Kenyan capital.

The Kenya Defense Forces have deployed massively and surrounded the attackers who are still within the vicinity of the camp.

"Two mujahideen rammed suicide auto bombs into the base in Kulbiyow town before storming it. We are receiving updates", the officer added.

Al-Shabaab, Reuters reports, claimed it had killed 57 Kenyan soldiers, an allegation Lt-Col Njuguna denied.

The attack is somewhat similar to the January 2016 battle at El Adde, Somalia, where dozens of Kenyan troops were killed by the al-Qaeda-linked militants.

Al-Shabaab spokesperson Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, al Shabaab's claimed "Two mujahideen rammed suicide auto bombs into the base in Kulbiyow town before storming it".

Kenyan television channel NTV reported that "several KDF [Kenya Defence Forces] soldiers were believed killed" in the raid and heavy fighting was reported.

The group also claimed to have taken over the base, run by the African Union Mission In Somalia (AMISOM).

Al Shabaab, whose assessment of casualties often differs markedly from official versions, typically rams the entrance to a target site with a vehicle or truck bomb so fighters can storm in.

The militant group has an elaborate propaganda machinery, with a spokesman to boot, that fights to advance its war against the western-backed Mogadishu administration and its allies, including Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda and Ethiopia.

Driven out from the capital Mogadishu in 2011, al Shabaab has been fighting for years to impose its strict interpretation of Islam on Somalia.