On Friday, KDF revealed that Al Shabaab bomb expert Maalim Sheriff was among more than 40 militants killed on Thursday night when KDF struck a training camp in Sidimo aka Cacama in Gedo region, Somalia. This, of course, is another weighty blow against the terrorist group.
KDF Spokesman David Obonyo said KDF killed Maalim, injuring several others who fled the scene. He also said 16 AK-47 rifles, six explosives, two pistols, eight RPGs, bullets and global positioning system gadgets were retrieved in the strike.
Kenyan military forces had earlier said Mohammed Karatey, Al Shabaab’s major intelligence who planned several attacks against Kenya, including the last month’s deadly attack on a Kenyan military base in neighbouring Somalia, was killed along 10 other Al-Shabaab commanders in the strike on 8 February.
But Al-Shabaab has said that Karatey is alive and that there had been no attempt on his life.
Moments after the celebration in Kenya for KDF’s big hit against Al-Shabaab, the group slammed KDF and denied that KDF had hurt their major intelligence.
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Militant Islamist group Al-Shabaab has dismissed the rumour that its intelligence chief has been killed in a Kenyan air strike in southern Somalia.
Obonyo said Maalim had been the architect of several explosions in Gedo region and that the IED expert for Al-Shabaab’s Abdi Zubeir that operates in Gedo.
In a statement on Friday, Obonyo said:
Among the dead is Sheriff, who was the main target. Many others escaped with multiple injuries.
However, a spokesman for the group said on a local radio that Kenya was only scamming the world to win public support for its military campaign in Somalia by lying that its soldiers had killed Al-Shabaab key men. The militants are yet to release a statement whether or not Maalim Sheriff was also killed.
Since the attack on KDF camp, Kenya has carried out a series of strikes targeting the militants in Somalia and the Kenyan military says it will continue.
With the death of Mohammed Karatey (key intelligence behind bombings) and Maalim Sheriff (bomb expert) Kenyan military forces have achieved so much within a short period, an accomplishment that even the US will admire, if confirmed.
Last April, the US State Department designated Karatey, also known as Abdirahim Mohamed Warsame, as a terrorist. He is said to have played a major role in the massacre of 147 people – mostly students – at Kenya’s Garissa University, last year.
Al-Shabaab is fighting to create an Islamic state in Somalia. The group was ousted from the capital, Mogadishu, in August 2011. It however still has a presence in large areas of southern Somalia and often stages attacks across Somalia and in Kenya.