Somali militants Al-Shabaab are amassing troops in lower Juba region, reports indicate.
Consequently, tension was mounting among the civilians over an imminent major military operation.
“Militants loyal to Al-Shabaab (the radical Islamist group) were Wednesday seen positioning ‘technicals’ (battle wagons mounted with machine guns, in and around the town”, a resident in Kismayu, who did not disclose his identity for security reasons, told the local media.
Other reports confirmed that militias were being gathered at Birta Dheer and Janaay Abdalla on the outskirts of Kismayu.
The militia manoeuvres follow the seizure of some strategic territory by pro-Somali Government forces supported by troops from Kenya.
The captured areas include Afmadow town and Bibi village, west of Kismayu.
Kenyan troops, pro-government forces and militias loyal to Ras Kamboni Brigade have indicated that Kismayu, the main port town in the Jubaland, was their prime target.
There were also reports of people moving out of the town in anticipation of possible confrontations.