The Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] has once again suffered immense blows following an attack that targeted their convoy within Jubaland, in the latest attack which could have been engineered by Al-Shabaab militants, who control large swathes of rural central and southern Somalia.
According to reports, at least seven soldiers are killed in the explosion after their vehicle ran over an IED along Dhobley-Hosingow road where they were ongoing with their normal patrols. The number of those who were injured still remains scanty.
This was the second attack against KDF within 24 hours. On Sunday night, the Al-Shabaab militants claimed to have killed 17 soldiers between Dhobley-Taabto also within Jubaland, where the militants control huge sections of the country despite efforts made by the government to eliminate them.
KDF troops have often been targeted by the Al-Shabaab. The team has several Forward Operating Bases in Somalia especially in Jubaland and Dhobley is the headquarters for Sector II which is under the command of Brigadier Paul Njema, who took charge in February 2020.
Since invading Somalia in 2011 under Operation Linda Nchi, KDF has lost several soldiers. But the most devastating attack took place in El-Adde and Kulbiyow where a total of 300 soldiers are believed to have been killed and this remains the highest number.
But despite the losses, the team has managed to liberate several strategic towns in Somalia among them Kismayo, which used to be the business center for the militants. The KDF team works closely with Jubaland security forces, who are also trained by KDF.
Under the Somali Transition Plan [STP], all KDF troops serving in AMISOM are set to withdraw by the end of 2021. Sources within KDF intimate that the troops will be repositioned to the Kenya-Somalia porous border where they will increase surveillance.