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Kenyan Airstrikes Target Al-Shabab in Somalia


Kenyan warplanes have attacked targets in neighboring Somalia, days after gunmen from Somali militant group al-Shabab killed 148 people at a Kenyan university.

The Kenya Defense Forces said the airstrikes Sunday targeted two al-Shabab camps in the Gedo region of southern Somalia.

Kenya Defense Forces spokesman David Obonyo said Monday the two camps were destroyed, though he did not give a death toll.

A resident of the Gandon Dhawe area told VOA that the airstrikes killed livestock and destroyed houses, but said residents "have not seen any human casualties."

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta had vowed to respond to al-Shabab's attack on Garissa University College in eastern Kenya.

Dozens of survivors are recovering from gunshot wounds inflicted by the militants during their 15-hour assault.

Al-Shabab has carried out multiple attacks in Kenya in recent years, and warned that more would come unless Kenya withdraws troops who are part of an African Union force fighting the militants in Somalia.

Kenya's Interior Ministry said Abdirahim Abdullahi, one of four attackers killed during Thursday's assault, is the son of a Kenyan government official.

Kenya is observing a three-day mourning period that began Sunday.

Somalia president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told VOA Somali Service on Sunday that Somalia-based al-Shabab was a regional enemy that needed to be confronted. He said al-Shabab’s aim to target mostly Christians in Kenya was intended to separate Muslims and Christians, but objective has failed as Kenyans understood the militants’ tactics.

President Mohamud said al-Shabab "has no dignity” and could only attack "vulnerable targets." He told VOA there was nowhere in Islam that said “kill non-Muslims."

U.S. President Barack Obama, whose father was from Kenya, expressed "horror and sadness" over the attack. The White House said Obama has reiterated his plan to visit Nairobi in July.

Some material for this report came from AFP and Reuters.

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