Five Kenyan soldiers killed in helicopter crash
Written by defenceWeb, Thursday, 20 October 2011
Military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir said that the helicopter came down at 7:55 pm on Sunday in Loboi in Kenya’s North Eastern province, around 14 kilometres from the border with Somalia.
Chirchir said the crash was caused by a mechanical malfunction. Witnesses said two helicopters landed at a base near Liboi primary school but whilst taking off one crashed and caught fire. Another witness said the helicopter flew at high speed from Somalia, suddenly landed at Liboi and then crashed.
It’s not yet clear what model of helicopter crashed. Kenya’s Defence Forces have several dozen Hughes 500 helicopters as well as a dozen Aerospatiale SA-330 Pumas, eight Harbin Z-9s and two Mi-171s (a third crashed on April 5 this year) in service.
Kenya's military stormed across the border on Sunday to support Somali government troops in an attempt to secure the frontier and its hinterland. The operation follows a wave of kidnappings by suspected militants that have threatened the East African country's multi-million dollar tourism industry.
Last Thursday two female Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) staff were abducted in daytime from Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp, located about 80 km (50 miles) from Liboi in the third attack on Westerners in a little over a month. Somali militant groub al Shabaab has said it is not behind the abduction of the MSF staff from world’s largest refugee camp.
Chirchir said that Kenya’s aircraft are involved in the operation and there are reports of air strikes against al Shabaab positions. “In terms of injuries, the first attack saw the death of 73 al Shabaab,” Chirchir said, adding that the only Kenyan deaths were the five killed in the helicopter crash.
Keen to avoid a spillover of violence by al Qaeda-trained foreign jihadists seeking haven in Somalia as well as al Shabaab rebels entrenched in the south, Nairobi has considered creating a buffer zone along its border.
Kenya has already trained thousands of newly recruited Somali soldiers to man the frontier. It also provides logistical and intelligence support to Somali government troops and government-friendly militia.
Al Shabaab's bloody campaign since early 2007 to topple a Somali government it sees as a stooge of the West has killed tens of thousands of people. The group wants to impose a strict version of sharia law on the nation and more hardline factions are bent on striking Somalia's neighbours.
Kenya's military intervention could raise the risk of a rebel strike on Kenyan interests. The militants have in the past threatened attacks on Kenya's capital, Nairobi, in retaliation for Kenya's training and support of Somalia's army and allied militia.
Top stories this week
- Hundreds protest against curfew after attacks in eastern Kenya
- NATO maritime law enforcement training for Somali police
- UN authorizes ship inspections near Somalia for arms, charcoal
- EUCAP Nestor trains Somaliland Coast Guard officers
- Serbian team protects WFP vessel
- ISS: The roots of radicalism should inform government's response to terror
- Somalia leader says his advisers not helping Islamist militants
- Interpol joins hunt for Kenyan poaching suspect
- EUCAP Nestor finishes training Somali personnel
- Somali militants kill five with car bomb in Mogadishu
Thales unveils unique counter-piracy service solution
by Thales, 31 October 2014
PASTOR is a high-level services solution based on a combination of early warning, prevention and deterrence systems.
Jens Thostrup - new head of PMR Terminals Business and Indirect Sales at Airbus Defence and Space
by AIRBUS Defence & Space, 30 October 2014
He replaces Pierre Lopez as head of the Terminals Business and Indirect Sales.
Nautic Africa signs exclusive agency agreement with Doen Pacific
by Nautic Africa, 29 October 2014
Nautic will install water-jet systems at competitive pricing for its customers in the sub-Saharan region.
New-generation Saab surface radar on track, in production
by Saab, 29 October 2014
Production of the first Giraffe 4A system for an undisclosed customer is ongoing at Saab in Gothenburg, Sweden.
Sustained revenue growth, strong order book drive Denel's new growth era
by Denel Corporate, 29 October 2014
The company's financial results for 2013/2014 show revenue growth of 17%, improved profit and the largest multi-year order book in its history.
Saab and Brazil sign contract for Gripen NG
by Saab, 28 October 2014
The defence company will develop and produce 36 Gripen NG fighter aircraft for the Brazilian Air Force.