Flood victims crowd around a truck carrying part of the first wave of ICRC assistance in Beletweyn, the regional capital of Hiiraan in central Somalia. Photo: ICRC.NAIROBI, Oct. 11 (Xinhua) -- Africa Union troops confirmed on Thursday they have found missing Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) and Somalia National Army (SNA) who went missing on Aug. 30 after a fierce battle between Al-Shabaab and AMISOM forces.
Military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said locals in the port city of Kismayo led the Africa Union soldiers to the locations where the two KDF and two SNA soldiers were buried after being dragged in the streets in Kismayo.
"KDF/SNA soldiers dragged in Kismayo by Al-Shabaab were recovered yesterday (Wednesday). The locals led the AMISOM troops to the locations where the four missing soldiers were buried in Kismayo," Chirchir said on Thursday. The soldiers went missing when AMISOM forces took over Miido town, a major stronghold of Al-Shabaab during the battle in southern part of the Horn of Africa nation on Aug. 31. Three of the missing KDF soldiers were later found after the onslaught in Miido which was a stronghold of the Al-Shabaab as it offers a tactical advantage for a defensive position. "The soldiers went missing in action after Miido attack as AMISOM forces moved eastwards to capture Kismayo. The bodies had been buried close to the cemetery along the coastline in a mass grave," he added.
Chirchir in September appealed to residents of the strategic port city of Kismayo to offer crucial information that may lead them to where Al-Shabaab could have buried the two missing Kenyans and two Somalis.
According to Chirchir, the residents confirmed that they demanded that the insurgents who have since been flushed out of the strategic city to burry the remains as it was not Somali and Islamic tradition to drag the dead.
AMISOM forcers together with Transitional Federal Government captured Miido on Aug. 31 in an operation that killed 36 Al-Qaida- allied militia blamed for bomb and grenade attacks on Kenyan soil.