KDF jets destroy Al shabaab’s armoury

By CYRUS OMBATI

The Kenya Defence Forces jets have destroyed Al-shabaab armoury store and warehouse after shelling Kismayo airport in an attack that is shaping up the takeover of the port.

Department of Defence headquarters said Tuesday evening the area had been sealed off from onlookers by the militants.

“KDF jets destroy Al Shabaab armoury store and warehouse at Kismayu airport. Area currently sealed off from on-lookers. Shaping-up operation,” read a tweet from the KDF official account.

SEE ALSO :Kenya shuts border with Somalia in Lamu

It is not clear if there were any casualties in the latest attack as the troops look forward to unseating the militants from their last bastion at the port.

It is the second time in less than a month that the troops are hitting Kismayu. A Kenya Navy ship had last month shelled the airport in another attack.

Other reports indicated islamist group Hizbul Islam has broken ranks with Al-shabaab militants. This has weakened the gang in many ways.

It came a day after a soldier was arrested after he allegedly shot and killed six civilians under unclear circumstances in Jana Cabdlalla region, about 40 kilometers from Kismayo.

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

SEE ALSO :Car bomb kills eight near Somali parliament

The AMISOM forces have drawn closer to their main target in the port of Kismayu—seen as the bedrock of the Al Shabaab militants.

Kenyan forces have warned civilians to keep off targeted towns, including Kismayu which are likely to experience major confrontations in the coming weeks.

“The capture of Kismayu is imminent. Kenya Government extends amnesty to Kenyans fighting in Somalia as Alshabaab. Retreat peacefully now,” said KDF in an earlier tweet.

There are tens of Kenyans who crossed to Somalia to fight alongside the militants. Some have been killed while others are yet to come back.

The troops added they are concerned about the safety and security of civilians as efforts to capture Kismayu gather momentum and urged them to stay clear of Al Shabaab targets.

SEE ALSO :Beyond tough resolve, do more to neutralise Shabaab threat

They also appealed to humanitarian agencies to come to the aid of the people fleeing to areas liberated by AMISOM and Somali security forces.

The troops have captured various towns in their advance to Kismayu, resulting to the killing of more than 1000 Al Shabaab militants.

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Al shabaab KDF Kismayu