Al-Shabaab nerve centre Kismayu falls to AU troopsBy AFRICA REVIEW Team | Friday, September 28 2012 at 08:08
Kenyan and Somalia forces have seized control of the prized port city of Kismayu, the nerve centre and last remaining stronghold of the Al-Qaeda-allied Al-Shabaab Islamist militants.
The Kenya army said the town, the terror group's logistical and financial hub, fell at 2am Friday East African time, and that they had met with little resistance.
No casualties were recorded by the army as it entered the city, it said, adding that the entire city would be shortly secured.
"Amisom (AU Mission in Somalia) forces...KDF and Somali National Army deliver on the promise. Kismayu falls and under control," Kenya's military spokesman Emmanuel Chirchir tweeted Friday, adding that all forces were in "good shape and spirit".
The army said that it had advised residents of the city to avoid areas where troops were in case of collateral damage.
On Thursday, the commander of the Ras Kamboni Brigade, which is fighting alongside the troops, Sheikh Ahmed Madobe, had said the final push to take the city was imminent.
"I believe the campaign to liberate Kismayu is in the final stages. We are in the process of wrapping it up. I hope by early next week, the city of Kismayu will be in our hands, God willing.
"Everything is going according to plan. Our combined forces are advancing on multiple fronts and they are on course towards entering the city from all corners early next week," he said in a telephone interview.
On Thursday evening Kenyan jets bombed Kismayu airport destroying an armoury store.
The military also destroyed the militia group's training and command facility on the outskirts of the port city.
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