On October 20, both Reuters[1]and Xinhua[2]quoted Kenya Defense Forces (KDF) spokesman Bongita Ongeri saying five suspected al-Shabaab militants had been killed on Saturday, October, 19, 2014, by “the KDF under AMISOM[3] together with Somali National Army” in the frontier town of Dolo, Ethiopia. According to Ongeri, the security forces “intercepted a Prado with Kenyan registration laden with vehicle borne Improvised Explosive Device” and loaded with 100 kg of highly explosive TNT. Six suicide vests were also found in the vehicle. “The occupants opened fire on the security forces who responded killing five Al-Shabaab operative”, Ongeri also said.

Apparently, this new al-Shabaab’s terrorist attempt could be a response to the recent capture by AMISOM and the Somali National Army of the port town of Baraawe (also known as Barawe or Brava), in the Lower Shebelle region in South-Eastern Somalia. Taken by the Islamists in 2008, it was the last major seaport they controlled[4].

The port of Baraawe had been used by the radical Islamist to export charcoal to Middle East business partners and to import weapons and ammunition. The area surrounding Baraawe was also used by the terrorists as a military training area for new recruits. The capture of Baraawe comes after other major successes for Operation Indian Ocean[5] launched in August 2014 by the Somali National Army and AMISOM against the al-Shabaab militant group. Additional expertise was provided to AMISOM by their US military partners.

Since the beginning of the Operation Indian Ocean, the joint Kenyan-Somali force, under the Somali Federal Government command, has captured seven strategic towns, and on September 1, 2014, killed Ahmed Abdi Godane, the leader of the al-Shabaab Islamist terrorist organization[6].


[1]Joseph AKWIRI,“Kenyan military kill five militants, seize TNT explosives”, Reuters, October 20,  2014, at the Internet address

[2] “Kenyan soldiers kill 5 Al-Shabaab suspects in northern border”, October 20, 2014, PHPCMS.CN, at the Internet address

[3] AMISOM is the African Union Mission to Somalia, a peace keeping mission operated by the AU in Somalia with approval by the UN – see more details at the Internet address

[4] Government of Ethiopia, “Somalia: Barawe, Al-Shabaab's Last Major Port, Captured By Somali Army and Amisom”, October 6, 2014, at the Internet address

[5] For more details concerning this operation see “Somali and AU forces in al-Shabab offensive”, Al Jazeera, August 30, 2014, at the Internet address

[6]Stefan SMITH, “Shebab’s new leader a devout, ruthless hardliner”, September 7, 2014, AFP, text accessed at the Internet address;_ylt=AwrBEiSgiwxUUkoAbqrQtDMD

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