Shabaab displays bodies of Kenyan soldiers near Kismayo


Last night, heavy fighting was reported near the town of Miido outside the Shabaab-held city of Kismayo in southern Somalia. Both Shabaab and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) claimed victory after the clash. AMISOM said it has taken control of the town, while Shabaab claimed it chased Kenyan troops back to Afmadow.

One thing seems clear: during the fighting, Shabaab captured several Kenyan soldiers (it isn’t yet known if they were captured alive, or if their bodies were taken after they were killed during the fighting). Major Emmanuel Chirchir, the spokesman for the Kenyan Defense Force, confirmed on Twitter that “5 KDF personnel are missing in action after the incident” while “3 KDF soldiers sustained injuries and have been flown to Dobley for medical [attention].”

Shabaab upped the ante and posted photos on its Twitter account, HSM Press Office, of what it claims are dead Kenyan soldiers. Four soldiers are seen in one of the pictures; two appear to have Kenyan identification cards. Shabaab taunted the Kenyans with statements such as: “He wanted to come to #Kismayo. His wish has been fulfilled,” and “And after all that, #KDFCorpses are now left for the dogs to devour. Welcome to #Kismayo fellas.

One photograph shows a soldier, shirtless, being dragged through the streets. HSM Press Office even referred to the infamous Battle of Mogadishu in 1993, when the bodies of US soldiers were mutilated and dragged through the streets of the Somali capital.

“Just like all invaders before them, #Kenyan soldiers were mercilessly dragged in the streets of Kismayo by an angry mob,” the HSM Press Office said.

AMISOM had previously claimed that it would seize control of Kismayo by the end of August, but is now behind schedule. It is unclear if Shabaab will fight to hold Kismayo, which is ultimately an impossible task, or is just bloodying the noses of the AMISOM and African Union forces before melting away and staging harassment attacks as it has done in Mogadishu, Baidoa, and a host of other cities and towns, most recently in Marka.

Shabaab seems to be following the advice of Omar Hammami, the American commander who is known as Abu Mansour al Amriki. In his autobiography, Hammami suggested that it was foolish for Shabaab to waste its fighters and resources by fighting conventional battles to hold territory in the face of superior military enemies, as Shabaab’s predecessor, the Islamic Courts Union, had done from the end of 2006 through the Ethiopian invasion of 2007. Hammami recommended instead that when it was clear Shabaab’s enemies were advancing in strength, the group should withdraw its forces and engage in a guerrilla war in urban settings.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • i says:

    go……go….KDF…..americans surrendered cos of a single or couple of soldiers we are here waiting to screw the Alshbaab. Alshaabaab ta sunu ….we will do u right ..u wait for the first battalion to arrive….

  • Richard Kiprop says:

    i take this opportunity to send my condolences to my fellow fallen soldiers who are killed in Somalia. your death has put us more brave and hard to fight for the sake who needs peace in Somalia.

  • vjkamau says:

    The men died an honorable death, they fought for the freedom of the suppressed,al shabab should release the bodies so that they be accorded their deserved send off

  • Brendamose says:

    I take this oppotunity to pay my rispect to soldiers who lost thea life fighting the enemies anfourtuntly one of them is my sitmet leshu may u rest in peace.

  • Brendamose says:

    I take this oppotunity to pay my rispect to soldiers who lost thea life fighting the enemies anfourtuntly one of them is my sitmet leshu may u rest in peace.

  • may God rest ur souls in peace… For the sake of their deaths dear lord have mercy on us and bring peace in Somali and the whole world.

  • kalumangu says:

    kudos to kdf hero’s we support you we will pray for victory

  • kalumangu says:

    go kdf go we pray for your victory

  • Katata says:

    We will quash u. You will see. Kismayo will burn.

  • barnabas says:


  • Mark says:

    Victory for kenyan defence forces is near RIP brothers knowing that I did not die in vain.somalia will be liberated and peace will prevail.u ar the heros of our nation.

  • samson says:

    My condolences to the families of the soldiers who were brutally killed by shabab surely they died serving the country.

  • Kipkemoi Rotich says:

    The death in combat of these fallen heroes means a lot to us Kenyans. They have died honorable deaths while fighting for the whole of humanity, fighting for the innocent Somalis who have been at the fangs and mercies of the merciless Al Shabaab bandits.
    Children in Somalia are wasted, have never seen school, education is not in their vocabularies. Health has been in pathetic state.
    We will encourage and support our soldiers who are our dads, mums, brothers, sisters et al. We stand with you and pray for you.

  • Robert Karani says:

    We will get you alshabab dogs. how many of your multilated corpses have we posted on twitter

  • Engineer THADEUS says:

    I stand with the kenya defence forces. whether it is true, or not, Alshabab must be wiped out completely…. Kenya govermrnt should recruit more in the army. we must fight a worth cause an win this time round. Alshabab have threathened the existance of peace in the region but i tell you… Kismayo is liberated.. the photos cause outrage whether false or true… it is time Kenya, it is time Amisom, It is time Africa…

  • ian says:

    go soldiers go n get kismayo n live no alshabab alive n let those who have died on duty give u hope n courage,which i was one of u guy.

  • victor says:

    Shame on you alshabaab,the blood of these kenyan boys will haunt you and very soon you will pay.Go KDF go,let not this propagada stifle this advance.kill them all and don’t show mercey when you read kismayu.

  • Tonui araap Tonui says:

    We will defeat Al shabab. God wil grant us victory. Bravo kdf!

  • Fredrick Kakui says:

    No matter what these guys do we are not scared we will and we are ready to sacrifice everything just to have our country secured. al shabaab should rest assured that killing some of our brave soldiers will not stop us. i personally will support our soldiers in every way i can to protect our lovely country.i will pray night and day for Gods protection to our soldiers. for our fallen heros RIP

  • Sgt Onyancha says:

    I salute you Fallen Soldiers “Falling in the Line of Duty is a Honorable thing May your Souls Rest in peace. My Condolence to the their family. Hat’ Off to you Officers.

  • Carol says:

    My condolences 4 the families who lost their belovd one 4 our country’s freedom may the lord rest their soul in enternal peace.

  • ann nganga says:

    Condolences to the families of the soldiers. May God rest their souls in eternal peace. Without a doubt, God will destroy those who destroy the world. We pray for the safety and protection of our soldiers. The battle belongs to God, victory is ours for sure.

  • Pulane says:

    Am from RSA am just proud of KDF. Al Shabab are the woeld enemies and must be crushed at all cost. Kudos to the fallen Heros

  • Alias says:

    I have scutinized the pictures and found that the bodies may not be of kenyan soldiers.This can be a propaganda by Alshabaab since its their only way of showing some victory.This is why i dont believe these are Kenyans
    1. Kenyan soldiers never wear white boots
    2. KDF Ids ca be found anywhere,whether lost,stolen or misplace.This can be a plot to depict KDF
    3. Jts look at the face of the supposed 1st KDF body(bottom most) and ul find that he looks of somali dilect

  • franq says:

    this is photoshop..

  • Wilson says:

    This are dead kenyans recruited by alshabab…those skinny malnourished shababs cant even carry a water jerrican….kenya is great en kdf is most powerfull army now in EAC….coward alshabab hyped themselves its just dilusioned people ahaaaa their leader is an american sheikh ahaaaa this fool played playstation then decided to try it..en some idiots followed him what did he promise them 72 girls,play station and khat

  • dennis mutiso says:

    anybody clever will say these are not kenyans soldiers.These are a-lshabaab.Dogs that very soon they will be dead.Its a matter of time before they meet their death and dogs and vultures visit on them.Let them kill in the name of protecting Islam.We all know that Islam doesn’t support crime against humanity as propagated by these dogs.Hell is your home!

  • isaac mudoga says:

    boys you have fought a good fight. when god is on you side who can be against you. Not even confused somalis recruited foreign murderers in the name of al shabaab killing innocent and Allah fearing brothers and sisters .
    a song for you by a soldier-
    we are happy when we went to the war
    we are happy when we come victorious
    our children sangs song———
    boys good luck. true somali citizen will never forget the salvation you victory will bring.
    you my have lost close friends , but what gains have unknown friends recieved?


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