The soldiers killed and injured by Al Shabaab at El Adde in Somalia’s Gedo region belonged to 9th Kenya Rifles formation in Eldoret and arrived in Somalia by road two days before the attack by militants, military sources indicate.
The sources also told The Standard that identification of the deceased and notification of families may take long because most of the bodies were dismembered extensively in the massive explosions.
We have also established that although special forces have arrived by air in and around the wrecked base, other Kenyan forces in Busar, Taraqa, Fafaxaduun, El Win and Bardheere have not moved into El Adde for lack of reliable intelligence and fear that the militants, who are said to have included Kenyan foreign fighters, might have mined this area or rigged it with explosives.
Although KDF and Somalia National Army (SNA) work in collaboration and the Somali forces are considered friendly forces, there is little or no interaction between soldiers and even SNA commanders are not allowed into KDF camps. Foot patrols SNA forces are often lightly armed and lack enough armour.
Reports show that a suicide bomber drove the Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device (VBIED) into the centre of the Kenyan camp and detonated a huge bomb with a fragmentation radius of 200 metres. Militants then surged in with rockets and machine guns. Many of them also perished in the 5am explosion.
The investigation also seeks to establish reports that some local residents and elements within the SNA aided the assault on the KDF camp. The audit, according to sources, also seeks to assess intelligence if any, laxity and reconnaissance failures, review relations with SNA and establish whether anything could have been done to destroy the VBIED before it went deep into the KDF camp.
A military official told The Standard that a section of the local population appears to have aided the planning of the attack, beginning with the secretive insertion of the VBIED days or weeks before Friday’s carnage. The official ,who cannot be named, told
The Standard that “we received reports that the entire population of El Adde fled the town about three hours before the attack, which means they were aware something was about to happen.” But the official reports that this behaviour is a bit unusual because the civilian population in these areas tend to flee conflict zones days in advance fearing to be caught up in skirmishes “but in this case they stayed behind until the last moments, which means either they co-operated in the preparations in order not to alert the KDF reconnaissance teams if they fled en masse or were coerced to stay.”
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SOURCE CREDITS: STANDARDMEDIA