KDF troops kill 12 suspected Al-Shabaab

A file photo of KDF soldiers during a patrol in Kotile town on the Garissa-Lamu-Somalia border, as part of the Linda Boni operation aimed at flushing out Al-Shabaab terrorists. [PHOTO COURTESY]

Soldiers of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) on Thursday killed 12 suspected Al-Shabaab militants in a raid at their camp inside the vast Boni Forest in Lamu County.

KDF’s special operations team ambushed the terrorists in their Korisa Kotile camp, which has been their hideout for long.

The camp is located at Nginda, an area between Korisa and Bargoni.

Among those killed on Thursday was a notorious local commander from the Coast region who had been providing intelligence and logistical support to terrorists hiding in the forest.

The KDF soldiers found weapons including three AK 47 rifles, seven magazines, more than 1,000 bullets, pouches and a water carrier.

The raid comes a week after special forces killed six militants and captured one in Garissa County.

It is a big blow to the extremist group as militants holed up in the forest may starve due to lack of food supplies and ammunition.The camp was the group’s only remaining one in Kenya, which it used to coordinate their activities.

The raid was part of ongoing KDF operations in pursuit of terrorists who took part in a botched attack at Kotile Special Operations Group Camp on March 13.

Since the attack, security teams in the region have intensified operations, tracking the assailants in Lamu West and the lower parts of Tana River.

The operations have significantly degraded Al-Shabaab’s operations.

It has led to the killing of those attempting to conduct small scale attacks in Kenya and left others terrified.

Coast Regional Commissioner John Elungata said, “There has been a continuous operation by the KDF. This is commendable.”

The army has been fighting the terrorists both locally and across the border under the Africa Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).

As a result of operations in Somalia since 2011, the Al-Qaeda-linked terror group has carried out many attacks in Kenya, targeting both security agents and civilians.

The Coast and Northeastern regions have borne the brunt of these attacks.

Key among raids by the terrorists are the September 21, 2013 Westgate Mall ambush in Nairobi, the April 2, 2015 killing of 148 students at Garissa University College and the January 5 incident at the Manda Bay army base.

Attacks on quarries, schools and buses in Northeastern have also raised serious concerns, with many teachers opting to leave the region, presenting a crisis in the education sector.