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Heavy gunfire reported as Kenyan forces exchange fire with Somalia National Army in latest clash

The heavy gunfire lasted for several minutes as residents scampered for safety

File image of Kenyan security forces

Heavy gunfire was reported as Kenyan and Somalia troops engaged in gun fight on Saturday evening.

The clash was triggered by protests from the Somali side when angry protesters marched towards a border post manned by Kenyan security forces between the Somali town Bula Hawo and Kenya's Mandera.

Witnesses recounted that Kenyan forces fired into the air to deter the protesters who were closing in, protesting the alleged killing of 3 civilians suspected to be Al-Shabaab militants.

In an interview with AFP, Mohamed Abdirahman, a police officer based in Bula Hawo confirmed that “Kenyan troops opened fire on Somali protesters who closed (in) on their positions along the Bula Hawo boarder and the Somali troops stationed close to the area responded with heavy fire, this continued for several minutes".

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Somali National Army responded with heavy gunfire as protesters scampered for safety.

"The Somali forces close to the area intervened in the situation by engaging (in a) gunfight with the Kenyans, (protesters) were dispersed with heavy gunfire by the Kenyan troops," confirmed an eye witness.

The Media house quoted a Kenyan security official confirming that "there was gunfire at the border where SNA (Somali National Army) and KDF (Kenya Defence Forces) exchanged gunfire after some incident of protests".

"The locals on the other side are accusing Kenyan forces of killing three civilians who were not Al-Shabaab," added the official.

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None of the parties involved in the exchange has confirmed any casualties.

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