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KDF thwart planned al-Shabaab attack, recover 11 rifles, bullets

Kenya Defence Forces operating in Somalia foiled a planned attack by al-Shabaab militants and recovered 11 rifles loaded with bullets.

The troops operating in the Burahache area, a few kilometres away from the Kenya-Somalia border in Mandera were acting on a tip-off when they intercepted and captured a suspect who was carrying the weapons.

Reports indicated the suspect belongs to a logistics unit of the terror group.

They are said to have planned a large-scale attack on the troops operating at the nearby base.

There were also fears the terrorists could have crossed with the weapons into Kenya with a deadly mission.

Sources aware of the operation said the recovery was seen as major and had weakened the gang’s plans.

This comes in the wake of heightened alertness in parts of the country following reports the militants have been planning an attack.

And with the Ramadan period ending and rains being experienced in parts of the Kenya-Somalia border, there are fears the terrorists could send remnants with instructions to attack targeted areas.

Security has been heightened in major towns to thwart any such plans.

The terrorists have been using Improvised Explosive Devices to attack targets.

Officials said this shows the threat of IEDs remains persistent in a particular area of responsibility.

Officials said the terrorists are exploiting the low-cost strategy and deploying it near forwarding operating bases or main supply routes to attack their targets.

This is happening both locally especially in the northern part of the country and in Somalia.

KDF troops are among those under Amisom that are operating in Somalia. Their aim is to suppress al-Shabaab activities in the region.

KDF went to Somalia in October 2011. Kenya’s incursion into southern Somalia started after the kidnapping of two Spanish women, who were working for MSF at the Dadaab refugee camp

The abductions were carried out by the militants who the troops planned to push away under Operation Linda Nchi.

Two years later, the troops managed to take control of Kismayo port under Operation Sledge Hammer.

The government saw the attacks as a threat to the country’s sovereignty as it targeted tourism, which is an economic lifeline.

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