Somali rebel group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for an attack on a Kenyan military convoy on Tuesday.
The attack occurred near the villages of Taabto and Dobley in the south of Somalia.
We ambushed the enemy convoy this afternoon and inflicted heavy casualties on them. The mujahideen fighters destroyed several of the military trucks in the convoy, al-Shabab commander Sheik Mohamed Ibrahim stated.
While the Islamic insurgent group claims it killed 10 soldiers, Kenya has played down the attack, denying any casualties and calling it a short skirmish between Kenyan troops and four gunmen.
Kenyan forces dismounted and returned fire... As they returned fire, these guys fled towards the bushes, Kenya's Major Emmanuel Chirchir told The Telegraph. The commander decided not to pursue them because he felt he was being lured into a trap.
Meanwhile, Somalia's transitional government said on Wednesday that they had killed 36 al-Shabab fighters during a counter-attack in the south, according to BBC.
Tension between Kenya and al-Shabab reached a boiling point on Oct. 16, when the Kenyan army and air force moved into Somalia and attacked al-Shabab.
In what some have called an uncoordinated and poorly planned operation, Kenya is currently attempting to push the Somali guerrillas as far away from the country as possible. Conversely, al-Shabab, which was recently expelled from the Somali capital of Mogadishu by African Union troops, has launched a counter-attack against Kenya.
So far, Kenya's military push hasn't made any significant short-term progress. If anything, it's backfired. Last Friday, three Kenyan security officers were injured by a landmine thought to have been planted by al-Shabab in Garissa province.
There have also been two grenade attacks upon Nairobi, causing high alert the Kenyan capital, with security guards now patrolling shopping centers and markets.
Kenyan authorities have cited the recent kidnapping and subsequent death of three tourists in Kenya by al-Shabab as the reason for the initial attack. However, some officials have admitted that the issue
This is about our long-term development plan, a senior Kenya official told The New York Times. Kenya cannot achieve economically what it wants with the situation the way it is in Somalia, especially Kismayu.
Just imagine you're trying to swim, he added. If someone is holding your leg and your arm, how far can you swim?
This development plan would be facilitated by a peaceful border region. In the short term, Kenya would like to push al-Shabab as far as from the border as possible and out of the states of Azania and Jubaland, new semi-autonomous regions between Kenya and Somalia.
A buffer zone would help Kenya build political, social and economic stability.