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Instead of fighting forward against the militants, troops are delivering food aid to those in need in an attempt to win favor in areas that were controlled by al-Shabab until recently.

Kenya sent hundreds of troops into Somalia in October to pursue al-Shabab militants whom it accuses of cross-border attacks and the kidnapping of 10 Kenyans and four Europeans, which threatened to destroy Kenya’s tourism industry, a key source of revenue for the economy.

From wire dispatches and staff reports