The Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabaab group in Somalia warned Kenya to pull its troops out of Somalia days after its fighters overrun a Kenyan military base in southwestern Somalia in a complex attack, killing dozens of soldiers.
Al-Shabaab claimed it killed more than 100 soldiers during the attack in El-Ade as fighters also looted military hardware, ammunition and vehicles.
“Despite earlier warnings, this is another one telling Kenya to pull its troops out of Somalia,” said Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Musab, Al-Shabaab’s military spokesman Saturday.
He said that the group would stop attacks against Kenya once the east African nation ‘decides’ to pull troops out of Somalia, warning that militants would step up attacks if Kenya keeps troops in Somalia.
He also claimed that his fighters have taken 12 Kenyan soldiers hostage during the attack, calling Kenyan government’s recent denial of the report as a ‘deception’.
Kenyan government declined to give figure of the troops’ causalities from the attack.
Despite the threats, defiant president Uhuru Kenyatta said that the attack has only renewed Kenya’s determination to destroy Al-Shabaab, calling Kenyans to stand shoulder to shoulder to face the ‘enemy’ of humanity.
He delivered the speech during a visit to soldiers wounded during Al-Shabaab attack on the military base last week at a hospital in Nairobi on Saturday.
In addition, Kenya’s former prime minister as well as the opposition leader Raila Odinga added his voice to the president’s speech, urging soldiers to ensure that Shabaab and other terror groups must be
stopped at all cost.
Odinga said that the country must stand together and take the battle to Al-Shabaab
Kenya sent troops into neighboring Somalia in 2011 after a spare of suspected Al-Shabaab raids and kidnappings of tourists.