An official with the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) told Voice of America’s Somali Service yesterday that the AU force had launched an attack on training camp used by the Al Qaeda-linked militant organization Al-Shabaab Somalia’s Dinsoor region in the south of the country.
The Kenyan Defense Ministry said that its contingent specifically was responsible for the attack, which it said consisted of an airstrike that “completely destroyed” the camp. It was estimated that over three hundred recruits were in the camp at the time of the attack and that many of them had been killed.
The Kenyan Defense Ministry indicated that militants responsible for the attack on the Westgate shopping center in Nairobi in September had been directly linked to the camp. The attack followed a strike in the town of Jilib on Monday, believed to have been a US strike involving an unmanned aerial vehicle. This strike was reported to have killed Ibrahim Ali Abdi, said to be the mastermind behind Al-Shabaab’s suicide missions. The US also provides considerable training and material support for AU forces deploying to Somalia as part of AMISOM through the Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program, which is led and funded by the US Department of State.