- A Kenyan military helicopter patrolling the northeastern Kenya borders has crash-landed near the Kenyan-Somali border wounding four army officers, local reports have said. The helicopter, Hughes-MD500 crashed on the outskirts of Hulugo town.
The crash comes days after Somalia's transitional government accused Nairobi of aiding opposition leader Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys back to Mogadishu from a self-imposed exile in Kenya.
According to Kenyan officials the incident may have been caused by mechanical problems, but Military sources however suspect Somali militias are behind the crash amid heavy fighting that continues in the Horn of Africa state.
"We suspect the chopper was brought down by unfriendly forces, which could only be the Al-Shabaab militia, currently operating in Somalia," a senior military official told local news reporters.
Mr Aweys' return has escalated tensions between anti- and pro-government forces in Somalia, forcing Kenya to officially close its border with Somali and to step up military patrols along the border.
Meanwhile, pro-government forces and Somali rebels continue their battle for control over the south-central towns of Mahaday and Jowhar, which were captured by rebels last week.
Somalia has not had a functioning government since 1991 and years of fighting in the country have left some three million people, a third of the population, in dire need of humanitarian aid.
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