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At least nine killed near Somalia-Kenya border as tensions rise

At least nine killed near Somalia-Kenya border as tensions rise
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Ben Curtis/Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.


Heavy fighting at a Somali town near the Kenyan border has killed at least nine people, according to Somali sources, as tensions between the East African neighbours increase.

The fighting started late on Sunday and continued into the early hours.

Somalia’s information ministry accused Kenya of supporting "rebels" to attack federal forces.

It said Kenyan troops, accompanied by Somali fighters trained by Kenya, entered the town of Bulohawo, in Jubaland territory, to attack Somali federal bases.

Nairobi denies any involvement.

Jubaland, a semi-autonomous region in southern Somalia and bordering Kenya, is the subject of regular tensions between the countries.

Somalia severed diplomatic relations with Kenya in December, accusing Nairobi of interference.

Three Somali army soldiers were also killed, according to Colonel Mohamed Adbulle.

In Bulohawo, "the forces of the Somali national army repelled (...) a raid by Kenyan troops and Somali rebel militias trained by them," Information Minister Osman Abukar Dube told a conference Press.

He accused the attackers of having "bombed places populated by civilians and killed five children and their mother".

He also said, "Somali forces captured 100 rebels trained by Kenya during the fighting."