Kenya, al Shabaab dispute Somalia base attack

The militant group attacked a Kenyan army base early on Friday, claiming it killed at least sixty-six soldiers. Kenya disputes the claim, saying scores of militants were killed.

Photo by: Getty Images
Photo by: Getty Images

Kenyan soldiers serve with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) where al Shabaab (flag on the wall in background) has been launching attacks in recent years.

The Kenyan army and al Shabaab dispute what happened when the militant group attacked a Kenyan military base in Somalia on Friday morning.

Al Shabaab said its fighters killed dozens of Kenyan troops when they attacked a remote military base. Kenya's army dismissed the claim and said "scores" of militants were killed.

A spokesman for al Shabaab said its fighters killed at least 66 Kenyans at the base in the southern town of Kulbiyow near the Kenyan border. Al Shabaab said it lost fighters but did not give numbers.

Kenyan military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Paul Njuguna denied the claim that al Shabaab had killed dozens of soldiers but did not give any casualty figures.

In a statement, he said al Shabaab attackers used a vehicle packed with explosives to try to blast their way into the camp of the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF). "KDF soldiers repulsed the terrorists, killing scores," he said.

Njuguna said the attack was launched around dawn on Friday.

In January 2016, al Shabaab said it had killed more than 100 Kenyan soldiers in El Adde, a Somali camp near the border with Kenya. The military never gave details of casualties, but Kenya media reports suggested a toll of that magnitude. AMISON has been a frequent target of al Shabaab.