NAIROBI, Kenya — Intense fighting erupted along the Kenya-Somalia border on Friday as the Shabab militant group tried to take back a slice of strategic territory from militias allied with the Somali government.
At the same time, Shabab fighters are breaking up camps for victims of Somalia's famine, sending tens of thousands of starving people straight back into drought-stricken areas.
The Shabab militants say they will provide enough food to tide people over until the next harvest, expected around January. But many aid officials worry that the famine victims are going to soon find themselves in a bleak and barren environment once back in their home villages.
The Shabab militants have lost several chunks of territory in the past few months. In recent days, witnesses have reported hundreds of fighters heading south toward Somalia's border with Kenya, where militias allied with Somalia's government are in control.
On Friday before dawn, Shabab forces struck Dhobley, a market town. By midafternoon, witnesses said that the Shabab fighters had been repulsed.