The United States has condemned recent attacks by al-Shabaab in Kenya and Somalia and has promised to work to “deliver a lasting defeat to terrorist groups that seek to undermine regional stability”.
In a statement issued on Tuesday by National Security Council spokesman Ned Price al-Shabaab was specifically cited to have been involved in the Tuesday attack in Kenya’s northeastern town of Mandera where at least 12 people were killed at a guest house.
The statement condemned the Somali insurgents’ attack on African Union Mission (AMISOM) base in central Somalia that, according to the terrorists, killed 17 Djibouti soldiers.
“The United States continues to stand with the people of Kenya and Somalia as they work to strengthen their security and expand opportunity for all citizens,” the US said.
“We will continue to work in partnership with regional governments and AMISOM to deliver a lasting defeat to terrorist groups that seek to undermine regional stability,” White House said.
The militants have also seized towns in central Somalia during the past week following the withdrawal of Ethiopian forces affiliated with AMISOM.
Analysts say al-Shabaab is stepping up operations with the aim of disrupting the election process now under way in Somalia.
For its part, the US has also been escalating its military involvement in Somalia.
About 300 US special operations troops helping AMISOM and the Somali army carry out more than half a dozen raids per month on Shabaab positions, the New York Times reported on October 16.
The strikes involve both ground attacks and drone bombardments, the Times said, citing “senior American military officials” as its source.
US troops also often interrogate captured Shabaab fighters, the Times added.