WASHINGTON, July 21 (UPI) -- Kenya is to receive eight small drones from the United States to help its military fight al-Qaida and al-Shabaab militants, government documents say.
The Wall Street Journal reported the Raven drones are to be used to gather information to help the Kenyan military identify targets for attacks from the ground or by conventional aircraft. The drones are hand-launched and carry sensors but no armaments.
The United States has allocated $41.4 million in aid to Kenya and other African countries. The Journal said Uganda received Raven drones last year and the aid also includes assistance to Burundi and Djibouti.
The Ravens weigh 4.5 pounds and have a wingspan of just over 4 feet. Steven Gitlin, a spokesman for the manufacturer, California-based AeroVironment, said 18 countries now use them, including several U.S. allies in NATO.
Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group in Somalia with links to al-Qaida, has been identified by the U.S. State Department as a terrorist organization.