Sun, September 02, 2012
World > Africa

Kenya finds 3 missing soldiers in Somalia

2012-09-02 11:50:41 GMT2012-09-02 19:50:41(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English

NAIROBI, Sept. 2 (Xinhua) -- Kenya's military officials confirmed on Sunday they have found three missing Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) soldiers missing days after a fierce battle between Al-Shabaab and AMISOM forces this week.

In a statement issued in Nairobi, Military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said two soldiers are still missing when AMISOM forces took over Miido town, a major stronghold of Al-Shabaab during the battle in southern part of the Horn of Africa nation.

"Three of KDF troops missing found. Bravo Special Forces and for your bravery hats off," Chirchir said in his official Twitter posting on Sunday.

He did not however mention the fate of the two soldiers who are still missing after the Friday onslaught in Miido which offers a tactical advantage for a defensive position.

Chirchir appealed to residents of the strategic port city of Kismayo, the remaining stronghold of the insurgents to offer crucial information that may lead them to where Al-Shabaab will bury the two missing Kenyans, an indication that they may have been killed.

"To the people of Kismayu...be on the look out where the remains of our hero's will be buried. That will be the welcome gesture. Help us find bodies of fallen soldiers," Chirchir said.

AMISOM forces together with Transitional Federal Government captured Miido on Friday in an operation that killed 36 Al-Qaida- allied militia blamed for bomb and grenade attacks on Kenyan soil.

Miido is situated 16 km south of Afmadow, which was secured by AMISOM troops in July. During the operation, seven Al-Shabaab vehicles and logistic supplies were destroyed while other assorted weapons and ammunition were recovered.

During the Friday battle, five AMISOM personnel went missing in action after the incident while three other AMISOM soldiers sustained injuries and have been flown to Dobley for medical attention.

In a statement issued on Saturday, AMISOM Force Commander Lt. Gen Andrew Gutti said the Friday battle was a brave and important operation conducted by the AMISOM forces in lower Juba.

Gutta said securing the strategic town of Miido will allow 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 a sustainable peace," Gutti said.

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