News / Africa

Al-Shabab Leader in Somalia Calls for Attacks Against Kenya

Sheikh Muktar Robow - leader of al-Shabab in Somalia (file photo)
Sheikh Muktar Robow - leader of al-Shabab in Somalia (file photo)

An al-Shabab militant leader in Somalia is calling on his followers to carry out huge explosions inside Kenya, in retaliation for Kenyan troops going into Somalia to try and stop the Islamic militants.

Sheikh Muktar Robow says tossing grenades is not enough. He is urging the militants to strike what he calls big painful blows.

Kenya sent forces into Somalia this month in pursuit of al-Shabab, which Kenyan officials blame for the cross-border kidnapping of several foreigners.

Kenya says its troops had their first direct clash with al-Shabab Thursday.

The army says about 45 al-Shabab fighters attacked the soldiers near the southern Somali town of Qoqani. It says Kenyan forces killed nine militants while two Kenyan soldiers were wounded.   

The army also says it carried out an airstrike on an al-Shabab training camp and has captured the town of Busar.

A Kenyan government spokesman says Kenya's goal is to destroy al-Shabab in the shortest time possible. He said the militants present a clear and present danger to the region.

At least four Kenyan government workers were killed Thursday when their vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in northeastern Kenya, near the Somali border. Wednesday, a Kenyan man who admitted to being a member of al-Shabab, pleaded guilty to one of two grenade attacks that took place in Nairobi earlier this week. One person was killed and more than 20 wounded.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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