Kenyan troops patrol in Somalia. (file photo)
Kenyan troops have killed 73 al-Shabab militants in southern Somalia and seized 40 guns as Kenyan troops and African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) forces intensify their military offensive against the insurgents.
The spokesman for the Kenyan Defense Forces (KDF), Major Emmanuel Chirchir, said two Kenyan soldiers were also killed in the battle, which occurred in Fafahdun on Wednesday night, Xinhua reported on Friday.
"KDF successfully resisted al-Shabab attack. A good number of al-Shabab are dead," Chirchir was quoted as saying.
The Kenyan forces, currently under the command of AMISOM, are dealing with specific al-Shabab targets, but security has also been stepped up on the Kenyan side of the border.
"Our mandate is to specifically deal with al-Shabab but not the civil war in Somalia," Kenyan Defense Department spokesman Bongita Ongeri said recently.
Kenya regularly carries out airstrikes in the Somali border regions.
Somalia has not had an effective central government since 1991, when warlords overthrew former dictator Mohamed Siad Barre.
The weak Western-backed transitional government in Mogadishu has been battling al-Shabab for the past five years and is propped up by a 10,000-strong African Union force from Uganda, Burundi, and Djibouti.