March 18, 2012
Jets bombed a base run by Islamist al Shabaab rebels
north of Somalia's Kismayu port on Saturday, local residents and officials
said, but it was not clear who carried out the raid or whether there were
Kenya sent troops into anarchic Somalia in October after cross-border raids
and kidnappings that it blamed on al Shabaab, which has allied itself with
al Qaeda, but regional security has not improved. Somali militants killed
nine people in an attack in Kenya's capital Nairobi last week.
A regional Somali military official said the jets were Kenyan. A Kenyan
military spokesman in Nairobi could not confirm this, and neither could
U.N. peacekeepers in Somalia.
Al Shabaab confirmed the bombardment and said none of its insurgents had
been killed or wounded. But a Somali government official in the area where
the attack took place said some militants had been killed in the bombing.
The jets hit the militants' base near the village of Daytubako, 135 km (84
miles) north of Kismayu, the nerve centre of al Shabaab operations in the
Horn of Africa country.
Residents in Jilib, a town 15 km from the scene, described what they saw
and heard with respect to the bombing.
"First we saw two jets flying towards Daytubako, and after (some) minutes
we heard the thunder of the bombs. The jets bombed, flew past, returned to
the same spot and dropped several other bombs," said Kasim Olow, a Jilib
Al Shabaab said its fighters escaped the bombing.
"The jets bombed Daytubako village, but they killed animals and injured
four civilians. No Al Shabaab casualties," said Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab,
al Shabaab's military spokesman.
"One jet targeted a well where civilians were watering their animals. It
dropped several bombs on this well."
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