The White House on Tuesday condemned recent attacks by Al-Shabaab in Kenya and Somalia, and promised to work to “deliver a lasting defeat to terrorist groups that seek to undermine regional stability.”
A statement issued by National Security Council spokesman Ned Price specifically cited Al-Shabaab’s killing on Tuesday of at least 12 people at a guest house in Mandera.
The US statement also condemned the Somali insurgents’ attack on an 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 underway in Somalia.
On 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.