A Kenyan military official said there were pockets of al-Shabaab that were creating « disharmony » in war-torn Somalia.
Al-Shabaab claimed it killed more than 70 soldiers and recovered weapons during clashes with African Union forces in Yurkud in southwestern Somalia, al-Jazeera reports. The al-Qaida ally said the attack was one of the deadliest for Ethiopian forces contributing to the AU force.
Kenyan officials operating with the AU said they launched a series of operations against al-Shabaab hold outs near the shared Kenyan-Somali border.
« These are pockets of remnants of al-Shabab that have been left behind and their main purpose is to try to disrupt our activities in that area and cause disharmony between our forces and the local communities, » Kenyan military spokesman Col. Cyrus Ogona was quoted by the Arab broadcaster as saying.
AU forces are supporting pro-government troops to expand the influence of the transitional Somali government.
World leaders ata London conference for Somalia last month said the country was turning the corner after nearly 20 years at war.
There hasn’t been a functioning central government in Somalia since the 1990s.