An al-Qaeda-affiliated terrorist group launched a deadly attack on a Somali town on Saturday not far from the war-torn nation’s border with Kenya, according to an Israeli police-intelligence source who monitors Islamists in North Africa.
Suspected Muslim radicals from Somalia’s Al-Shabaab reportedly attacked the town of Bula-Hawa in southern Somalia, killing dozens of people and wounding dozens more during a fierce gun battle between the terrorists and members of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government soldiers
The battle for the control of the small Somali town, which is less than 90 miles from Kenya’s northern town of Mandera, has also left two Kenyans wounded, according to the Somalia National News Agency.
The fighting pitted heavily armed Al-Shabaab terrorists and the TGF troops who controlled and protected the town which was taken over from Al-Shabaab by Somali forces who were at the time backed by the Ethiopian military, according to Law Enforcement Examiner’s Israeli source.
According to Kenya’s news agency, a large number of civilians — mostly women and children — and some Somali soldiers fled into the Kenyan side of the border in order to escape the bloody battle in Bula-Hawa.
Kenya’s Mandera has frequently suffered both loss of property and loss of lives due to stray bullets and hand grenades whenever terrorists and Somali troops fought in close proximity to Bula-Hawa.
There has been fear in Kenyan communities located close to the unsecured border with Somalia that Al-Shabaab members fleeing from an imminent military assault, or retreating from a defeat, were a very real danger to the innocent civilians. There are reports of revenge attacks on Kenyans by members of Al-Shabaab.
The deployment of Kenyan troops in the southern regions have so far helped to prevent the movement of explosives into the strategic towns of Husingo and Badhade. Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), counterfeit electronics and other contraband are easily transported between the two countries, according to the Israeli source.
Security officials have often pointed out that these regions are crucial to the security of Kenya’s coastal and northeastern provinces, which have been targeted by Islamic terrorists preying on the mostly Christian civilian population.