Violence claims six lives in Kenya


NAIROBI: One Kenyan soldier and five suspected Islamists insurgents loyal to Somalia’s Al Qaeda-affiliated Shebab fighters were killed in a battle in Kenya’s coastal Lamu district on Wednesday, the army said.

Kenyan troops, part of the UN-backed African Union force in Somalia fighting the Islamists, were travelling northwards close to the Somali border when they were attacked.

“A firefight ensued and five suspected Al-Shebab militants were killed”, army spokesman David Obonyo said in a statement, adding that one Kenyan soldier was killed and three others wounded.

“Some militants escaped with multiple injuries, and immediately an operation was launched in pursuit”. Kenyan troops entered southern Somalia in 2011 to fight the Shebab rebels, later joining the AU force. The Shebab are fighting to overthrow Somalia’s internationally-backed government, but have also carried out a string of revenge attacks in neighbouring Kenya.