France Refutes Reports it Carried out Somalia Airstrikes

Posted October 24th, 2011 at 10:45 am (UTC-5)
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The French embassy in Kenya is refuting media reports that France carried out airstrikes in the Somali city of Kismayo.

In a statement Monday, the embassy asked that Kenyan newspapers correct what it described as “the false impression” created by the reports.

On Sunday, Kenyan army spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir indicated foreign forces had joined his country's pursuit of al-Shabab militants in Somalia.

Chirchir said that a French naval ship bombed the southern Somali town of Kuday, located near Kismayo, which is controlled by al-Shabab.

The embassy said Monday there are no French warships in the area.

Warplanes have carried out airstrikes in recent days in Kismayo, but it is not clear who was responsible for the attacks.

Chirchir said the airstrikes were done by allies. However, no nations, including the United States, have confirmed involvement in the Somali operation.

Kenya sent troops into Somalia this month to hunt down al-Shabab, which it blames for a string of foreign kidnappings on Kenyan soil.

Kenyan officials said the kidnappings threaten their country's reputation as a safe investment and tourist destination.