Al-Shabaab threatens attacks ‘inside the heart of Kenya’ if KDF remains in Somalia

Al-Shabaab

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabaab said on Saturday it would launch attacks inside the heart of Kenya if the new administration of new President William Ruto ignores its calls to withdraw troops from south Somalia.

“As Kenyans prepare to usher in a new president, they once again have the chance of reviewing their foreign policy decisions and the implications that come with those decisions; chiefly, their illegitimate invasion of Somalia,” Al-Shabaab said in a statement.

“It has been 11 years since Kenya invaded Somalia. To this day, however, the Kenyan military did not achieve any of its initial goals of the invasion. The Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF) remain besieged in their bases, unable to leave their bunkers,” it added.

The militant group accused the Kenyan government of carrying out extrajudicial killings, rapes and other brutal atrocities against Muslims in both Kenya and Somalia, calling on Muslim youths in the neighboring East African nations to answer calls to arms aimed at defending against aggression by Kenyan security forces.

Al-Shabaab stated that it “will continue to concentrate our attacks on Kenyan towns and cities as long as Kenyan forces continue to occupy our Muslim lands.”

The insurgent group has carried out a number of attacks in Northeastern and Coast provinces of Kenya ahead of the East African country’s tightly contested presidential election this month.

“If the newly elected government persists on its war path and unjust invasion of Somalia, Harakat Al-Shabaab Al Mujahideen vows to strike not only at the occupying forces but also inside the heart of Kenya,” the statement noted.

Kenya has not immediately commented on the statement.

In recent years, Kenya has been accused of killing Somali civilians in air strikes it continues to carry out in rural areas in the south of the country. The air raids triggered diplomatic tiff between Nairobi and Mogadishu in the last two years. Somalia severed diplomatic ties with Kenya in late 2020, citing interference in its internal affairs and violation of its territorial integrity.

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