Al Shabaab Commander killed In KDF Airstrike – Gen Samson Mwathethe

According to Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe, KDF airstrike which targeted Al Shabaab militants after the recent attack launched against Kenyan Defence Forces in Somalia, has killed Al-Shabaab commander Maalim Janow, the leader of the El-Adde attack.

Gen Samson Mwathethe noted that the government is yet to reveal the actual number of soldiers in action who have not been found including the wounded, kidnapped and dead soldiers even as the search and rescue mission ended on Thursday.

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The General however avoided mentioning the number of soldiers who had been flown to Kenya whether alive or dead. He further hinted that several bodies were terrifically injured that only DNA tests would be the easiest way to identify them. He also said an investigating team is currently scrutinizing the gruesome attack and will soon come with the answers we are all craving to hear.

In response to the claims that KDF had prior intelligence warning of attack before it happened, the General said the military didn’t receive any warning ahead of the heinous attack. This is against what a  commander with the Somali National Army had said earlier.

Gen Mwathethe

A number of soldiers are missing in action and we have not accounted for all of them. We will know more once the team investigating the attack completes its work.

Furthering, the General pointed out that information didn’t get to the country until two hours after the attack had occurred as the terrorists first struck where the communication masts of the camp were, cutting all connections to the necessary locations.

The command centres were down after the explosives that were used in the attack. We got the information on the attack through intelligence informants before diverting a surveillance plane to the area,”

He said when the first plane that was headed for Kismayu but was diverted to El-Adde arrived at the scene hours after the incident, the crew encountered resistance by anti-aircraft guns.

The anti-aircraft guns were positioned at a school in El-Adde and this posed danger to our response teams.

Additionally, Mwathethe said another significant impediment that had frustrated the prompt response the military would have offered to rescue the injured soldiers was inability to fly.

According to him, the rescue team got to the camp three days after the incident as the military got resistance from the terrorists which couldn’t let them fly.

On that account, Kenyan Defence Forces had to use the road for ten hours from Damasa to the area (about 75 kilometers away) but could not fly to the area.

Gen Samson Mwathethe stated:

The teams are in full control of the area and will finish the search and rescue mission today (Thursday).

The military chief added that foreigners are believed to have helped in the planning and execution of the attack. All evidence points to the fact that the attack was planned painstakingly for long before its execution. Particularly as the attackers used Vehicle Borne Improvised Devices (VBIED).

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