How Al-Shabaab executed their evil plan against KDF

21 Jan 2016 | by
How Al-Shabaab executed their evil plan against KDF

Details of how terror gang Al Shabaab executed their murderous attack on the KDF camp in Somalia have emerged al most a week since the attack.

The Commanding Officer of the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) Company attacked by Al Shabaab insurgents in El Adde died during the incident alongside the signallers at the Communication centre.

The officer of the rank of a Major and several Captains are believed to have died in the initial stages of the attack further complicating defensive response. 

This was evident after the the Chief of Defence Force General Samson Mwathethe equated the attack on El Adde as thrice the magnitude of the 1998 terrorist attack on the US Embassy in Nairobi or the Jazeera Hotel attack in Mogadishu in November last year.

The attackers targetted the command and control centre that host the communication unit in the initial attack before two other Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Devices (SVBIED) with equivalent magnitude were driven in.

A truckload of suicide bombers then jumped into the trenches in further attacks, DoD revealed on Thursday

Gen Mwathethe said the first VBIED attack was the magnitude of the 1998 US Embassy attack struck the command centre and communication unit at about 5am after driving through the Somalia National Army (SNA) struck and exploded in the defensive position. 

It was then followed by two other VBIEDs of the same magnitude and suicide bombers who jumped into the defensive positions from a UD truck. Rocket propelled grenades were also used by the attackers.

"The intensity and magnitude of the attack was three times the US embassy attack in Nairobi in 1998 and Jazeera hotel in Mogadishu in 2015. KDF soldiers resisted and fought  fiercely to hold their defensive positions," Gen Mwathethe said.

DoD has set up a Board of Inquiry to investigate the circumstances leading to the attack and its findings will be submitted to the CDF. The team is already at El Adde camp which has been retaken by KDF soldiers. 

Gen Mwathethe said that in some cases DNA tests will have to be conducted to identify the fallen soldiers.

"In some cases, DNA will be required to identify the fallen heroes. This might take a long time and i call upon  you to exercise patience," Gen Mwathethe said.

He declined to give the number of dead or survivors saying they have not finalised the search and rescue operation yet  because there will be the survivors, missing and the dead.

He appealed to the families to assist in the identification of the recovered heroes but more details and figures will be provide when ready.

I also emerged that it took the KDF Special Forces three days to walk over one hundred kilometres of explosive rigged terrain to the El Adde Amisom camp.

Initial attempts by DoD to airlift the Special Forces reinforcements to El Adde on the morning of the attack were impossible because Al Shabaab fighters who were holding some soldiers had placed  anti aircraft guns within El Adde town and next to a primary school.

Gen Mwathethe denied that there was any specific intelligence on the attack and said that although KDF is part Amisom, Amisom did not have the capacity nor capability to offer any assistance during the attack on El Adde.

" Amisom did not have the necessary capability and ability to offer any assistance. We mobilised our own resources in response to this attack. The Sector II commander deployed two aircraft to offer assistance  but we were informed that the enemy had deployed two anti aircrfat guns within El Adde town, one of them near the primary school. So we could not insert troops by air. The safest option was to deploy ground troops," Gen Mwathethe said.

He said DoD received reports of the attack on the El Adde Amisom camp at about at 6:30 am on the fateful day.and aerial surveillance aircraft were quickly scrambled to  confirm the situation and reported back in affirmative.

A Kismayu bound aircraft was quickly diverted to El Adde to monitor the situation.

Troops from Mandera, Elwak and Wajir were quickly assembled and were to travel by road but it was soon discovered that Al Shabaab had rigged the roads with explosives and a decision was made that the troops walk the distance to El Adde.

By midday, the surveillance aircraft noted that the Al Shabaab were loading equipment and weapons into their trucks. But ten minutes after the moved out of El Adde camp, the trucks were hit by attack helicopters destroying some of the looted equipment and weapons.

Another static convoy of trucks carrying looted equipment that had split into two was hit but one managed to drive into Walgadud and has not been tracked until now.

A group of soldiers that managed to walk close to the Kenyan border were rescued as surveillance continued for the next 24 hours.

Grounds troops then began their foot advance  fighting their was from Damassa to El Adde as more soldiers were rescued. Two enemy camps were destroyed during the advance according to Gen Mwathethe.

On the third day, the advancing troops who continued their move attacked and destroyed two camps killing many Al Shabaab attackers including Maalim Janow, the leader of the Abu Zubeir brigade  believed to have led the El Adde attack was killed.

"On the third day, the advancing ground troops destroyed two camps  and killed many Al Shabaab attackers including Maalim Janow, the leader of Abu Zubeir Brigade which is believed to have been behind the attack was killed," Gen Mwathethe said.

According to Gen Mwathethe, the ground troops arrived at the El Adde camp on the fourth day as search and rescue mission countinued. More survivors and the fallen heroes were airlifted to Nairobi on the same day. 

KDF ground troops  then took control of the camp on the fifth day and more Special Forces were airlifted for a mop up operation that was scheduled to be concluded yesterday.

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