The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) maintained that only one of their soldiers had died following the fighting but Alshabab claimed they had killed eleven Kenyan soldiers and damaged three armoured personnel carriers (APC) belonging to KDF during the fighting near the Somali village of Qooqani.
“On 29 Dec 2011 at 1900hrs, in Tabda area of Beles Qooqani, KDF soldiers raided an Alshabab position killing five Alshabab and many suspected wounded,’ read a statement released by the Kenya Military spokesman Major Emmanuel Chirchir on Friday.
“Following the raid one of our soldiers got critically injured and succumbed to his injuries. Four are receiving medical attention on the ground,” Major Chirchir added.
However, the Alshabab militants claimed to have ambushed Kenyan troops on Thursday with an explosive device, forcing a Kenyan armoured vehicle to stop.
“Upon stopping to survey the damage, a hail of bullets waylaid the inexperienced boys,” the group said in a Twitter message, claiming to have killed 11 Kenyans but making no mention of their own casualties.
None of the casualty reports could be independently verified.
The latest development comes as security forces at the border points are grappling with threats posed by the militants who have been laying landmines mainly targeting police and soldiers patrolling the Somalia border.
Kenya has been beset by a spate of grenade and landmine attacks since it launched cross border incursion into neighboring Somalia last month to pursue the al Qaeda allied Alshabab militant group.