Kenyan jets bomb Somali rebel base, kill 14

Sun Jan 15, 2012 4:11pm GMT

* Family of seven and seven insurgents killed

* Somali authorities find remains in captured town

By Feisal Omar and Omar Faruk

MOGADISHU, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Kenyan jets bombed an al Shabaab rebel base in southern Somalia on Sunday, killing a family of seven as well as seven fighters from the insurgent group linked to al Qaeda, residents said.

Kenya sent troops into anarchic Somalia in October after raids and kidnappings it blamed on al Shabaab, but the advance has slowed and regional insecurity is no better. Somali rebels killed seven people in an attack inside Kenya last week.

The jets bombed an al Shabaab base at Jilib, 120 km (75 miles) north of Kismayu, the port city which is the nerve-centre of rebel operations in the Horn of Africa country.

Residents and an al Shabaab spokesman said seven fighters were killed. Five children and their parents died when a bomb hit their home as they were sitting down to lunch.

"We are now collecting what is left of their bodies," Sultun Abdullahi Wayo Arag, a clan leader and close relative told Reuters by phone from the scene of the strike.

A spokesman for the Western-backed Somali government's army, Mahmud Farah, said two al Shabaab bases had been targeted by their Kenyan allies. He acknowledged some civilian deaths.   Continued...

Powered by Reuters AlertNet. AlertNet provides news, images and insight from the world's disasters and conflicts and is brought to you by Reuters Foundation.