Kenyan military plane crashes in Somalia, rebels say shot down

Published: December 4, 2014

Kenyan military plane crashes in Somalia, rebels say shot downA Kenyan military aircraft crashed in southern Somalia on Thursday, with Kenyan media saying the crash was due to technical problems while Somali rebels said they had shot the plane down.

The plane, which had been on a combat mission, came down in the area of the southern port city of Kismayu, where Kenya has troops deployed as part of an African Union peacekeeping force battling the Islamist rebel group al Shabaab.

“We hit the Kenyan jet and downed it. It was bombing Bulaguduud town today,” al Shabaab’s spokesman for military operations, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters

“We hit it using a missile,” he said, adding that the pilot was “burnt inside.”

Kenyan newspapers earlier reported the crash of the Kenya Defence Force (KDF) plane but cited a technical glitch.

“KDF aircraft while returning from a combat mission in Jamaame (Southern Somalia), developed technical problems and crashed in the general area of Kismayu,” KDF spokesman Colonel David Obonyo said, according to a report on the Daily Nation’s website. He did not say if there were any casualties.

Reuters could not reach Obonyo for confirmation.

Kenyan troops recaptured Kismayu, a strategic port in the south of the war-torn country, from al Shabaab rebels in 2012.

The report follows two attacks in the past two weeks by al Shabaab militants on Kenya’s northern border region in which more than 60 non-Muslim Kenyan civilians were killed.

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