Kenyan airstrikes tar­get She­bab af­ter Garissa uni­ver­sity massacre


Kenyan fighter jets pounded alQaida-linked She­bab in­sur­gent camps in south­ern So­ma­lia on Mon­day, the army said, days af­ter the Is­lamists killed 148 peo­ple in their worst ever massacre in Kenya.

The airstrikes, which the army said de­stroyed two Is­lamist bases, came on the sec­ond day of na­tional mourn­ing in Kenya, and as se­cu­rity forces tried to hunt down those be­hind the uni­ver­sity killings.

The massacre, Kenya’s dead­li­est attack since the 1998 bomb­ing of the U.S. em­bassy in Nairobi, claimed the lives of 142 stu­dents, three po­lice of­fi­cers and three sol­diers.

“We bombed two She­bab camps in the Gedo re­gion,” Kenyan army spokesman David Obonyo told AFP, with­out giv­ing de­tails about any pos­si­ble ca­su­al­ties in the law­less re­gion bor­der­ing Kenya.

“The two tar­gets were hit and taken out, the two camps are de­stroyed.”

The airstrikes fol­low threats by Pres­i­dent Uhuru Keny­atta that he would re­tal­i­ate “in the sever­est way pos­si­ble” against the She­bab mil­i­tants for their attack on Thurs­day.

The She­bab gun­men launched the pre-dawn attack in Garissa, storm­ing dor­mi­tory build­ings be­fore lining up non-Mus­lim stu­dents for ex­e­cu­tion in what Keny­atta de­scribed as a “bar­baric me­dieval slaugh­ter.”

Kenyan air­planes have made re­peated strikes in south­ern So­ma­lia since their troops crossed into their war-torn neigh­bor in 2011 to attack She­bab bases, with Nairobi later join­ing the African Union force fight­ing the Is­lamists.

“The bomb­ings are part of the con­tin­ued process and en­gage­ment against Al-She­bab, which will go on,” Obonyo added.

The She­bab fled their power base in So­ma­lia’s cap­i­tal Mo­gadishu in 2011, and con­tinue to battle the AU force, AMISOM, sent to drive them out. It in­cludes troops from Bu­rundi, Dji­bouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda.

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