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High Alert As Kenya Marks El Adde Attack Anniversary

Security agencies are on high alert as the country marks the second anniversary of the El Adde attack, which was one of the deadliest and largest defeats the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) has ever suffered in the battlefront.

The attack occurred on January 15, 2016, after Al Shabaab militants overrun a military base in the town of El Adde in Somalia.

Two years since the attack, no official figure on the number of soldiers killed in the attack has been released, however, different reports have placed the deaths at over 100.

With the militants being known for a notorious trend of celebrating deadly incidents by staging “anniversary attacks”, security chiefs in the country are leaving nothing to chance with security being intensified in all corners.

The military set January 15 as a day to honour the gallant soldiers who paid the ultimate price while defending the country in the war against Al Shabaab insurgents.

During the attack, KDF soldiers were ambushed by the militants who stormed the camp with Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (VBIED) and heavy weaponry at around 4am, mounting an attack that lasted over seven hours.

Despite military heads indicating that a Board of Inquiry was constituted to investigate the attack and establish what might have gone wrong, the government has opted to remain silent on the finer details on the attack.

Kenya’s incursion into Somalia began on October 16, 2011 in an operation that has since been taken over by the African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). The operation dubbed “Operation Linda Nchi” was prompted by the kidnapping of several tourists and aid workers along the Kenyan border by suspected militants.

Nearly seven years later, the Kenyan troops are still in the neighbouring country despite calls from different quarters for their withdraw.

Last year, President Uhuru Kenyatta gave an indication that his government had no immediate intention to withdraw the troops from Somalia. Speaking at the London Somalia Conference in May 2017 Kenyatta expressed a firm commitment to support AMISOM until Somalia stabilizes.