Kenyan military: Fighter jet crashes in Somalia; pilot ejects before crash

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A Kenyan military spokesman says a fighter jet returning from a combat mission has crashed in Somalia.

Col. David Obonyo says the military launched a search and rescue mission to find the pilot, who ejected before the crash.

Obonyo said Thursday the pilot reported mechanical problems before the plane disappeared from radar over the port city of Kismayo.

Somali militant group al-Shabab, which Kenyan troops are fighting in Somalia, claims it shot down the jet. Obonyo dismissed the claim.

Kenya sent its military to Somalia in October 2011 to fight al-Shabab militants whom the Kenyan government blamed for cross-border attacks. Kenyan troops later became part of the African Union troops in Somalia which are bolstering Somalia's weak government against al-Shabab's insurgency.