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Al-Shabaab using captured Kenyan soldiers as human shields

The Chief of Kenya’s Defence Forces on Sunday confirmed that Al-Shabaab militants captured an undisclosed number of Kenyan soldiers during an attack in Somalia last Friday.

General Samson Mwathethe said that KDF had information that some of the captured soldiers are being used as human shields.

“We will not allow any further casualties,” Gen Mwathethe told journalists on Sunday.

The Al-Shabaab militants had used three vehicles loaded with explosives to attack the camp in Somalia.


Although he acknowledged the demand by the public to be told how many soldiers had been killed in the raid, General Mwathethe did not divulge the number, only reiterating the words of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who on Friday said that the blood of the fallen Kenyan heroes would not be shed in vain.

Journalists were not allowed to interview four soldiers who were injured in the attack, one of whom was in serious condition. The four were airlifted to Wilson in two civilian planes. Three were able to walk on their own but the fourth was in a wheel chair.

All then boarded waiting ambulances and were taken to the Armed Forces Memorial Hospital.

Gen Mwathethe said other injured soldiers were being treated at a KDF hospital in Wajir. Those who require specialised treatment will be flown to Nairobi.


Describing the attack, Gen Mwathethe said three vehicles were driven into the KDF and Somalia National Army camps, and were followed by several suicide attackers.

He only said that the attackers were resisted, that there were casualties on both sides, and that the families of those soldiers who had died were being contacted directly before the information could be made public.

He described the number of soldiers at the camp at the time of the attack as “company-size force”.

At the weekend, Kenyans used Facebook and Twitter to express solidarity with their soldiers.

On Twitter, #IStandWithKDF was trending. The support was a recognition of the efforts and sacrifices that Kenyan soldiers had shown in defending the country, its borders and freedom.