SOMALIA: Kenya probes aircraft crash in Dhobley

Published: August 5, 2020

Kenyan military said Tuesday it has launched investigations into circumstances in which its helicopter crashed in southern Somalia on Monday evening when ten of its troops were injured.

Zipporah Kioko, Kenya Defense Forces(KDF) spokesperson said a KDF aircraft model was on routine duties when it crash-landed at the Dhobley airstrip.

“All the ten military personnel onboard the aircraft are at the Defense Forces Memorial Hospital in Nairobi in stable condition,” Kioko said in a statement issued from Nairobi.

“An investigation team is in Dhobley to establish the case of the crash,” she added.

Sources in Somalia said some of the injured soldiers were transferred to Nairobi while others were moved to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) hospital in Mogadishu.

The helicopter is reported to have been on a return trip after delivering supplies to the soldiers who are part of AMISOM based in Lower Juba region near the Kenyan border.

There was no immediate comment from the AU mission. About 4,000 Kenyan soldiers are serving under the AMISOM and are responsible for sector 2 comprising Lower and Middle Juba.

The latest incident is the third this year after a civilian plane registered as 5Y-VVU, operated by Kenya’s Bluebird Aviation, crashed on July 14 during landing at Ugaas Khalif Airport in Beledweyne town in Hiiraan region of central Somalia.

Abdirahman Riyale, Sector 4 Commander of Djibouti Army under AMISOM said then that three crew members aboard the plane which was carrying food aid from Djibouti, were rescued while the food aid burnt down.

On May 4, a Kenyan plane carrying health supplies was mistakenly shot down by Ethiopian troops on May 4, killing six people on board.

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