Kenyan Troops Enter Somalia

Nairobi sends force to attack the Somali militant group Al-Shabab, despite threats of reprisal.

Posted: 10/17/2011 05:30 PM EDT
Filed Under Somalia, Kenya

Kenyan military forces moved into southern Somalia Sunday in an attempt to address a recent rash of kidnappings along the border. The Kenyan forces are on the hunt for Somali militant group, Al-Shabab, suspected of being behind the kidnappings — but the potential for violent opposition exists from the group who have sent warnings for the troops to leave at once.

 

Reports over the weekend said that the Kenyan forces moved into Somalia, bolstered by helicopters and jet fighters.

 

"Our team inside Somalia is doing well. So far, we have uprooted al-Shabab from [the district of] Dhobley after air and ground raids," a Kenyan officer told Reuters. "We are working with other friendly armed groups ... to fight the common enemy, al-Shabab."

 

Al-Shabab denies the kidnappings and, although there have been no major clashes yet, the group sent a clear message to the Kenyan government that it does not want their presence in the country.

 

"We will defend ourselves. Kenya doesn't know war. We know war. The tall buildings in Nairobi will be destroyed,” Al-Shabab spokesman Ali Mohamud Rage told BBC. "We have fought against governments older and stronger than Kenya and we have defeated them."

 

Somalis is a nation without a functioning central government and controlled by militant groups who gained power from a weak internationally-backed interim government and warlords.

 

 

 

(Photo: REUTERS/Feisal Omar)

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