NAIROBI, Kenya

Kenya on Tuesday demanded answers from Somalia following the shooting down of its plane carrying humanitarian and medical supplies for use in the fight against coronavirus in the Horn of Africa country.

All six passengers onboard died on Monday in the South West town of Bardaale after the plane, about to land at the airport, was allegedly shot down by suspected al-Shabaab militia.

Kenya expressed its shock, saying that the plane was on a humanitarian mission surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked Somalia to provide answers on the downed plane, which, it says, was brought down under mysterious circumstances.

“The Government of the Republic of Kenya urges the Federal Government of Somalia and International Agencies to thoroughly and swiftly investigate the matter because it impacts humanitarian operations at a time of highest need,” a statement from the ministry read.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs working with other Agencies shall keenly monitor the investigation of this tragic incident and will collaborate with all to bring closure and resolution to the incident.”

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somali counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed have agreed to conduct a joint probe into the circumstances surrounding the plane crash.

The plane with registration number 5Y-AXO was operated by African Express, a Somali-owned Kenyan airline.

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