Monday Nov 14, 201107:12 PM GMT
Israel to back Kenya offensive in Somalia
Mon Nov 14, 2011 7:14PM
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Kenyan soldiers in Somalia. (File photo)
Kenyan officials say Israel is ready to help their country in its offensive against al-Shabab fighters in Somalia, Press TV reports.

Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga has requested Tel Aviv's assistance in carrying out intensified offensives inside neighboring Somalia.

In response to the request, Israeli President Shimon Peres has vowed to aid Kenya with whatever it needs in its fight against Al-Shabab fighters.

Meanwhile Al-Shabab says its fighters have killed 27 Kenyan troops and destroyed a military vehicle carrying ammunition.

Kenyan troops invaded Somalia last month in a bid to fight off the local fighters.

Kenya blames the fighters for a spate of abductions of foreign nationals in northern Kenya, near the Somali border. The militants deny the allegations.

The US is also currently militarily involved in war-torn Somalia.

The US has been deploying intelligence and assassination drones in the famine-stricken country, while Kenya has also dispatched soldiers over its border into Somalia and began air and ground offensives against al-Shabab fighters.

Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.

Strategically located in the Horn of Africa, Somalia remains one of the countries generating the highest number of refugees and internally displaced persons in the world.

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