The Aljazeera news channel is reporting that Kenyan defence Forces (KDF) and Somali Transitional Government Forces (TFG) have captured the port of Kismayo, ‘the last rebel bastion of Al-Shabaab fighters’.
Aljazeera quote a Kenyan ‘military spokesman’ Cyrus Oguna saying that the report of Kismayo falling “is indeed true”. Oguna said that the troops had entered Kismayu earlier today (Friday).
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 report comes a day after Kenyan jets bombed a warehouse and armoury in Kismayo and shelled the airport.
REPORT OF FIGHTING IN KISMAYO – KENYAN FORCES LAND ON BEACH
The BBC reports:
However, al-Shabab spokesmen said fighting was taking place.
One spokesman, Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, told Reuters: “Ships have brought Kenyan troops on our Kismayo beach last night. Fierce fighting between us and them is going on now.”
Residents of Kismayo told Reuters news agency they could hear fighting outside the city.
One resident, Ismail Suglow, told the agency: “Now we hear shelling from the ships and the [militants] are responding with anti-aircraft guns.
“We saw seven ships early in the morning and now their firing looks like lightning and thunder. Al-Shabab have gone towards the beach. Many residents have taken their guns. The ships poured many AU troops on the beach,” he said.
More to follow…