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Kenyan military is moved into Somalia

The move comes after a spate of abductions in Kenya that are suspected to involve Somalia’s al-Shabab militants.

File photo of al-Shabab militants
File photo of al-Shabab militants
Image: AP Photo/Farah Abdi Warsameh, File

THE KENYAN MILITARY has begun to move into Somalia.

Kenyan tanks, artillery and fighter jets are flowing into the country, with witnesses in the Somali town of Dhobley telling the Associated Press that an estimated 40 Kenyan military vehicles entered the town on Sunday.

Helicopters and fighter jets flew overhead.

Hundreds of troops were on the ground but the residents say no large-scale fighting has yet broken out.

On Saturday, Kenya vowed to invade Somalia to fight al-Shabab militants after a string of kidnapping attacks inside Kenya resulted in four Europeans being abducted and one killed.

The BBC reports that al-Shabab senior figure Sheikh Hassan Turki said that the Mujahideen fighters will force the Kenyans “to test the pain of the bullets”.

During one of the kidnapping attacks, two Spanish aid workers with Medécins Sans Frontieres, Blanca Thiebaut and Montserrat Serra, were kidnapped from Dadaab, which is the world’s biggest refugee camp.

A vehicle was found during the search for the women on Friday.

Kenya deployed troops and six helicopters to try to rescue the pair, who apparently have been forced to continue on foot with their captors. They had been headed toward Somalia.

Al-Shabab recently renewed its threats against aid workers when agencies appealed for safe passage while providing aid during the ongoing food crisis.

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Earlier this year, two Somali pirates were sentenced to life in jail by a US court for their involvement in the hijacking of a yacht off the coast of Oman.

This incident led to the deaths of four US citizens.

In September, a British  woman, Judith Tebbutt, and her husband were kidnapped from a Kenyan resort -  David Tebbutt was killed.

Read: Vehicle found during search for Spanish aid workers>

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