Army denies 2 Kenya jet fighters crashed in Somalia
The military has denied reports carried by Iranian TV,Press TV, that two Kenyan fighter planes crashed between the towns of Kismayu and Qooqani.
In a statement to newsrooms the Military spokes man Major Chirchir said the reports are false.
“Attention of the Ministry of State for Defence has been drawn to the influx of propaganda and false information in regards to the on going operation in Somalia,” reads part of the statement.
Chirchir says headlines such as the understated have been splashed on some international news websites and further discussed in social network forums:
1. KENYAN HELICOPTER CRASHES NEAR SOMALIA (14 KENYAN SOLDIERS DEAD): Reported Monday October 17, 2011 11:55am.
2. KENYAN JETS STRIKE MILITANTS IN SOMALIA: Wednesday October 19, 2011 10:18pm.
3. KENYAN AIRSTRIKES KILL 64 IN SOMALIA (CIVILIANS): Reported Sunday October 23, 2011 2:3pm.
4. 2 KENYAN FIGHTER JETS CRASH IN SOMALIA: Reported Tue October 25, 2011 11:32pm.
“Take note that, none of the above incidents ever took place. These reports are false malicious and lack facts. Such news is meant to misinform the public from the objectives of Operation Linda Nchi while corrupting the minds of both the people of Kenya and Somalia,” said Chirchir.
Quoting a senior Somali military commander the TV reports that the jets were heading to the southern port city of Kismayu after targeting the positions of al-Shabab fighters in southern Somalia.
On Monday, media reported that a Kenyan jet bombed an al-Shabab base near the port in Kismayu, an al-Shabab stronghold. Earlier reports indicated that some drones suspected to be of US hat dropped bombs in al shabaab strong holds. US has maintained that Kenya did not inform her of the Somalia invasion.
On Monday the Somali president Sheikh Ahmed claimed that Kenya military operation in his country was not welcome. He was immediately criticised by somali who burnt his pictures during a protest in support of Kenyan intervention.
The Kenyan internal Security minister George Saitoti has demanded a clarification of the statement by the Somalia president.