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Updated: 11/01/2013 01:19:00AM

Kenya bombs al-Qaida-linked training camp in Somalia

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Michael Gunn

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(Bloomberg) — Kenya’s armed forces said they bombed a training camp of more than 300 recruits of the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaab Islamist group in the Dinsoor region Somalia.

The camp at Hurguun was used by al-Shabaab to train operatives including some of those who carried out an attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, on Sept. 21, killing at least 67 civilian and security personnel, the Kenya Defence Forces, known as the KDF, said in an e-mailed statement Thursday. Four combat vehicles and a weapons store at the base were destroyed, according to the KDF.

Many recruits “are believed to have perished, with many others suffering injuries,” the KDF said. “Operations of this nature will be sustained into the future.”

Kenya deployed more than 4,000 troops to Somalia in 2011, blaming the Islamists for a series of kidnappings and the murder of a British tourist at a Kenyan beach resort. Those forces joined African Union troops from Uganda and Burundi as well as a military deployment from Ethiopia in pushing Al-Shabaab out of Somalia’s major population centers including Mogadishu, the capital.

The Islamists threatened retaliation against Kenya and other countries with troops in Somalia, bombing a bar in Uganda in 2010 and claiming responsibility for the Westgate attack.

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