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Al Shabaab stronghold Kismayu falls

By Ombati Updated Friday, September 28th 2012 at 00:00 GMT +3
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By Cyrus Ombati

Kenya Defence Forces alongside Amisom have taken control of Al Shabaab stronghold and headquarters of Kismayu in Somalia.

Kenya military spokesman Colonel Cyrus Oguna said Kismayu fell at 2am Friday after a fierce battle with the terror militants.

The troops are urging the residents of the port to avoid areas under their control to avoid any form of collateral damage.

The port was the last bastion for the Somalia militants al-Shabaab which has been in control for the last couple of years.

Department of Defence headquarters said in a tweet the troops are in control of Kismayu without elaboration.

“KDF troops have taken control of Kismayu. Residents are advised to avoid areas where KDF and Somalia National Army troops are to avoid collateral damage,” said KDF in a tweet.

Spokesman Col. Oguna said the first group of troops arrived at Kismayu at about 2 am on Friday.

“Yes our troops are in control of Kismayu and urge residents to avoid the areas they are for now,” said Col Oguna.

The incident came two days after KDF jets and ships destroyed Al-Shabaab armoury store and warehouse after shelling Kismayo airport in an attack that shaped up the take over of the port.

It was the second time in less than a month that the troops were hitting Kismayu. Other reports indicated Islamist group Hizbul Islam has broken ranks with Al-shabaab militants. This has weakened the gang in many ways.

Lobby groups had warned that there could be many more civilian casualties in the battle ground which often go unreported.

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