NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — Kenya's military says it has killed 31 al-Shabab extremists in a raid in Baadhade district in southern Somalia, but the Islamic militant group denies it.

The Kenyan military said Monday that its ground troops were supported in the Sunday raid by helicopter gunships and artillery fire to strike two al-Shabab bases.

However, al-Shabab later denied the Kenyan military's report. Sheikh Abdiaziz Abu Musab, the military spokesman of al-Shabab said that no attack was carried out on al-Shabab bases, calling the Kenyan military's claims a "fabrication."

Kenya's military is part of the African Union Mission in Somalia bolstering the government against an Insurgency by the Islamic extremist group al-Shabab. More than 22,000 peacekeepers are deployed in Somalia in the multinational African Union force.

Al-Shabab are fighting to establish a strict Islamic emirate in Somalia. Despite being ousted from most of its key strongholds in south and central Somalia, al-Shabab continues to launch deadly guerrilla suicide bombings and guerrilla attacks against government targets and African Union forces across large parts of the Horn of Africa nation.


AP writer Abdi Guled contributed to this report from Mogadishu, Somalia.