Kenyan troops in Somalia have appealed to residents of Kismayu to give them information on where Al-Shabaab militants would bury the bodies of the two missing soldiers.
Sunday, September 02, 2012
By Cyrus Ombati
The statement by the military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir is a confirmation the two soldiers died in the clash with Somalia’s Al-Shabaab militants.
To the people of Kismayu...be on the lookout where the remains of our heroes will be buried. That will be our welcome gesture,” said Chirchir in a twitter posting.
Three of the KDF troops who went missing in the clash were later found, said Chirchir.
“Three of KDF troops missing found. Bravo Special Forces and for your bravery hats off,” he said in a posting without elaborating on their status.
Chirchir had said five soldiers are missing after the troops launched an offensive towards Kismayu capturing Miido town, which is near the port.
And in a show of impunity, the militants displayed the bodies of two Kenyan soldiers and two Transitional Federal Government troops in Kismayu town.
Reports said the bodies were dragged in the streets of Kismayu on Saturday morning.
Kismayu, which is part of lower Juba region is currently the target of Amisom and Somali forces who intend to capture it from Al shabaab militants.
Reports say that both sides have used heavy artillery in Miido of lower Juba in a battle that started Friday leaving the four soldiers dead and more than 40 militants killed.
Al Shabaab often drag bodies of foreign soldiers killed in Somalia. Somalia has had no functioning government since the fall of the socialist government of the late dictator, Siad Barre in 1991.
The Kenyan troops are believed to have been killed outside a house they intended to raid.
The displayed images showed two slain Kenyan troops and two TFG ones. On top of one of the bodies was what appeared to be his army ID card, one thousand shillings note and an Equity Bank ATM card.
The port in southern Somalia is the last major bastion of the militants, who have been forced out of their other main strongholds in the south and centre of the country by Kenyan, Ethiopian and African Union soldiers backed by Somalia's weak pro-government armed forces.
“This was a brave and important operation conducted by the Amisom forces in lower Juba. Securing the strategic town of Miido will allow the local community to rebuild their lives free from the terror and tyranny imposed by Al-Shabaab. I pay tribute to the bravery and commitment of all the soldiers involved in this operation. Amisom is committed to protecting hard won security gains to ensure Somalia continues on the road to sustainable peace,” said the Mission’s Force commander Lt-Gen Andrew Gutti.