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Heavy Gunfire Among Somali and Kenyan Forces

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Heavy gunfire was reported as Kenyan and Somalia troops engaged in a gun fight on Saturday evening September 26.

The clash was triggered by protests from the Somali faction when angry protesters marched towards a border post manned by Kenyan security forces between the Somali town Bula Hawo and Kenya’s Mandera County.

Witnesses recounted that Kenyan forces fired into the air to deter the protesters who were closing in, protesting the alleged killing of three civilians suspected to be Al-Shabaab militants.

Kenya Defence forces soldiers during a past training session. /FILE

In an interview with AFP, Mohamed Abdirahman, a police officer based in Bula Hawo confirmed that “Kenyan troops opened fire on Somali protesters who closed (in) on their positions along the Bula Hawo boarder and the Somali troops stationed close to the area responded with heavy fire, a tussle that continued for several minutes”.

Somali National Army then responded with heavy gunfire as protesters scampered for safety.

“The Somali forces close to the area intervened in the situation by engaging (in a) gunfight with the Kenyans, (protesters) were dispersed with heavy gunfire by the Kenyan troops,” confirmed an eye witness.

The Media house quoted a Kenyan security official confirming that “there was gunfire at the border where SNA (Somali National Army) and KDF (Kenya Defence Forces) exchanged gunfire after some incident of protests”.

“The locals on the other side are accusing Kenyan forces of killing three civilians who were not Al-Shabaab,” added the official.

None of the parties involved in the exchange has confirmed any casualties.

Three people went missing after they were abducted by suspected al Shabaab militants in Mandera County on Wednesday September 26.

The victims were masons who were heading to Lafey town for work.

The incident happened about 30 kilometers from Lafey town when a public service vehicle the victims were traveling was flagged down by armed men in the area.

Al Shabaab soldiers in training. /ALJAZEERA

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