Somalia: Al-Shabaab Killed 180 Kenyan Troops in El-Adde

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Somalia President Hassan Shiek Mohamud says Al-Shabaab killed at least 180 Kenyan troops in last month’s attack on a military base in El-Adde.

Kenya has since rejected the figures after refusing to confirm how many troops were killed in the attack. Al-Shabaab, which is known for exaggerating the number of victims killed in its attacks, initially said 100 Kenyan troops were claimed in the assault.

 

Unconfirmed figures

The Somali president seemingly revealed the death toll from El-Adde when speaking to Somali Cable TV:

“When 180 or close to 200 soldiers who were sent to us are killed in one day in Somalia, it’s not easy,” he told the station. “The soldiers have been sent to Somalia to help us get peace in our country, and their families are convinced that they died while on duty.”

It remains unclear where Mohamud got his figures from or whether he intentionally revealed them. However, the Somali leader was responding to criticism from the general public after he attended the funeral for those lost in the attack. Some have criticised Mohamud of caring about Kenyan lives more than those of his own people.

 

Kenya rejects Somali president’s accounts

While the accuracy of Mohamud’s estimation remains to be seen, Kenya has been quick to reject the figures. Colonel David Obonyo, spokesperson for the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) outright denied the numbers:

“It is not true. This information never came from us or anyone in the government of Kenya,” he told Reuters.

If Mohamud’s toll is accurate, the attack in El-Adde would be Al-Shabaab’s most deadly in more than a decade of operation. One theory for why a group renowned for exaggeration would cut its own toll short is that it could have excluded ethnic Somalis who are fighting in the KDF.

Regardless, the attack in El-Adde is almost certainly the most deadly against KDF forces since they entered the country in 2011.

 

Featured image: Public domain