Kenya launched airstrikes against Islamic militants in Somalia on Sunday and Monday in which its air force bombed two al-Shabab camps in the neighboring country. The military response is the first after last week’s attack on the Garissa University by the militant group that killed nearly 150 students.
The al-Shabab camps, located in Gondodowe and Ismail in Somalia's southwestern region of Gedo, were attacked on Sunday afternoon and early Monday morning, the Associated Press (AP) reported, citing Col. David Obonyo of the Kenyan military. Immediate numbers on the death toll and the damage caused to the militant group so far were not clear, according to reports.
Obonyo reportedly said the latest airstrikes were part of continuing operations, and not just a response to the university attack.
“We targeted the two areas because according to information we have, those (al-Shabaab) fellows are coming from there to attack Kenya,” a spokesman for the Kenyan air force said, according to the Guardian.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta last week vowed harsh measures to fight al-Shabab, which had called for another "bloodbath" in the country. “We will fight terrorism to the end,” Kenyatta reportedly said, adding: “I guarantee that my administration shall respond in the fiercest way possible.”
The al Qaeda-affiliated group had also said that the Garissa attack, where four of the gunmen were killed, was in retaliation to Kenya sending troops to Somalia as a part of an African Union force to fight the group.
“Not only are you condoning your government's oppressive policies by failing to speak out against them, but are reinforcing their policies by electing them … you chose your government out of your own volition so endure the consequences of your actions, for you will bear the full brunt of its follies,” al-Shabab reportedly said, in a statement last week, adding: “You will, therefore, pay the price with your blood … No amount of precaution or safety measures will be able to guarantee your safety, thwart another attack or prevent another bloodbath.”