We have not accounted for all soldiers - KDF

Gen Mwathethe says Al-Shabaab commander who led the El-Adde attack, Maalim Janow, was killed in a KDF airstrike.

Thursday January 21 2016

Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe addresses journalists at Wilson Airport on January 18, 2016 after receiving more soldiers who were airlifted to Nairobi. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe addresses journalists at Wilson Airport on January 18, 2016 after receiving more soldiers who were airlifted to Nairobi. PHOTO | EVANS HABIL | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Some Kenyan soldiers stationed at the camp in Somalia that was attacked by Al-Shabaab terrorists on Friday have not been accounted for, the military has said.

In a press briefing on Thursday, Chief of Defence Forces Gen Samson Mwathethe, however, declined to release the death toll, the number of survivors and those missing in action.

He noted that the Al-Shabaab commander who led the El-Adde attack, Maalim Janow, had been killed in an airstrike by the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF).

He said the explosion at El-Adde happened at the centre of the KDF camp where the officers in charge were. The command centre was also at the point of the explosion.

The force of the explosion was three times more than the August 7, 1998 terrorist bombing in Nairobi, he said. He added that identifying the bodies would require DNA analysis and was likely to take long.

Gen Mwathethe said a KDF aircraft that was headed to Kismayu was diverted to El-Adde on the first day to confirm the attack but it encountered anti-aircraft gunfire and the officers on board could not attempt any rescue.

The first reinforcement reached the area on the third day after the attack. He said El-Adde is now under the control of the KDF.

A board of inquiry to investigate the circumstances leading to the attack has been formed, and the team is now on the ground.

More to follow

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