NAIROBI — Nine Kenyan soldiers were killed in southern Somalia when their convoy hit a roadside bomb, authorities said on Monday, in an attack claimed by the Islamist group Al-Shabaab.
"Earlier today, I was appalled and saddened to learn that we had lost nine young patriots to a cowardly terrorist attack in Somalia," Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta said in a statement.
"These men gave their lives for their country, and for peace; we must, and we will, honour their service, their sacrifice and their valour."
Security sources told AFP that the improvised explosive device on Sunday destroyed the vehicle the soldiers were travelling in en route to a military base in Somalia’s Jubaland region.
The Shabaab claimed the attack had killed 15 soldiers, according to US extremism monitor SITE.
The group is fighting to overthrow the internationally backed government in Mogadishu but also regularly carries out attacks in neighbouring Kenya, which has deployed troops in Somalia since 2011 as part of an African Union force.
In its bloodiest single attack on Kenya so far, Shabaab gunmen raided a university in Garissa in April 2015 killing 148 people, most of them students, while in 2013 the group killed at least 67 people in an assault on a shopping mall in Nairobi. — AFP