The Kenya Defence Forces says it has killed a senior Al-Shabaab commander.
Hassan Issack Ibrahim alias Beila, who was in charge of Gelef area in Somalia was killed together with two bodyguards during an operation jointly carried out with Jubaland security forces, said the KDF.
Hassan is believed to have been the force behind the hijacking of miraa vehicles on the Kenya-Somalia border at Diff, Hamey and Dhobley.
He is also said to have led a number of attacks on police posts.
An AK-47 rifle, a grenade and a mobile phone were found on the commander’s body, which was displayed to the public in Dhobley town on Wednesday.
At the same time, there are reports of Al-Shabaab terrorists in Somalia amassing at Lakta belt near Boni Forest, with the aim of entering the woodland ahead of an operation ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta.
Police on Wednesday said five Al-Shabaab militants of Kenyan origin had been dispatched from Somalia to lead fresh attacks.
Authorities said they believed some of the terrorists’ relatives were involved in helping them sneak into the country.
Police circulated photos of five suspected militants and appealed to the public to volunteer information on their whereabouts.
Police also offered Sh2 million for information that would lead to the arrest of Abdikadir Mohamed aka Ikrima, Mohammed Tajir Ali, Suleiman Irungu Mwangi and brothers Salad Tari Gufu and Gufu Tari Gufu.
Suleiman, police said, has other aliases, including Habib, Maalim Zakariya and Jureij.
Within Al-Shabaab, he is enlisted in Amniyaat, the terror group’s intelligence wing.
Police said Mohammed Tajir also uses the names Wahome and Abu Jaffar. He has been in Somalia since 2009.
KDF and the Somali National Army, with the support of the United States, have scaled up operations in Somalia to ensure terrorists do not enter Kenya.
“Security agencies have intensified operations within Lakta belt and overflowing into Boni enclave.
They are looking for important Al-Shabaab operators, key amongst them Salad Tari Gufu,” said a government report.