Shabab threatens retaliation after Kenyan military action

Sami Pathan

Kenya is facing increasing criticism from neighboring Somalia for recent military offensives into that nation in an attempt to oust Islamic rebels. Somalia’s president, Sheik Sharif Ahmed, condemned the actions, stating they were almost an invasion of the country.

Kenya sent hundreds of soldiers, backed by tanks and aircraft, into Somalia to fight the Shabab, Islamists who control parts of the country. Kenya claimed the purpose of the operation was to support Somalia’s government, which has been battling the Shabab with limited success for years, and that it plans to stay in Somalia until the threat of the insurgents has been reduced.

The Shabab threatened to retaliate against Kenya for the offensive and followed through Oct. 24. Two separate grenades went off in Kenya’s capital of Nairobi killing one civilian and injuring dozens of others.

Somalia and Kenya had signed a joint agreement on Oct. 18 calling for decisive action against the Shabab, who have pledged allegiance to al-Qaida. The Shabab had cut off food relief during a famine and killed numerous civilians in bombings and other attacks.

Sharif Ahmed however said while the assistance from Kenya was welcome, Kenya’s territorial sovereignty must be ensured.

By Sami Pathan

-source: www.nytimes.com, www.time.com