Kenyan and Somali government troops have killed nine members of an al-Qaida-linked militant group they are pursuing in Somalia, Kenya's military spokesman said Sunday.
Maj. Emmanuel Chirchir said the soldiers came upon an al-Shabab camp while on patrol Saturday night.
He said four Kenyan soldiers were wounded. One of the Kenyan soldiers who was critically wounded has been flown to the Kenyan town of Garissa for further treatment, Chirchir said in a statement.
Chirchir said some militants are believed to have escaped with wounds and advised residents of the Kenya-Somalia border town of Elwak to be on the lookout for people seeking treatment for wounds.
Separately, the Kenyan army said it conducted a raid in Elwak town on Saturday night and arrested four people in possession of illegal weapons. Of those arrested, one is Kenyan and others are Somalis, Chirchir said.
Kenya last month sent hundreds of troops into Somalia to pursue al-Shabab. The East African nation blames the group for a string of attacks and kidnappings in Kenya, including those of four Europeans. The Kenyan government says the kidnappings threaten tourism, a key source of revenue for the country.
In return, al-Shabab has threatened to attack Kenya's capital with suicide bombings.Somalia has not had a functioning government since the ouster of longtime dictator Siad Barre in 1991 by warlords who then turned on each other.
Al-Shabab, Somalia's most dangerous militant group, is waging an insurgency against Somalia's weak-U.N. backed government.