Friday, September 28, 2012

Kenyan troops take control of Shabaab stronghold Kismayu

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) celebrate after capturing the Somalia town of Jana Cabdalla, 40km from Kismayu last week. KDF said it had taken control of Kismayu September 28, 2012.

Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) celebrate after capturing the Somalia town of Jana Cabdalla, 40km from Kismayu last week. KDF said it had taken control of Kismayu September 28, 2012.   NATION MEDIA GROUP

By NATION Reporter

The Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) have taken control of Kismayu, the last remaining al-Shabaab stronghold in Somalia.

KDF information officer Cyrus Oguna said the military entered Kismayu at 2.00am and advised locals to avoid areas where the troops are operating.

"KDF troops have taken control of Kismayu!!!," the military said Friday.

"Residents are advised to avoid areas where KDF and SNA troops are to avoid collateral damage."

KDF said it had suffered no casualties.

"Our troops are safe and sound, so far no casualties," the military said.

On Thursday, the commander of the Ras Kamboni Brigade, Sheikh Ahmed Madobe, told the Nation 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, at around 5.30pm KDF jets bombed Kismayu airport destroying an armoury store.

And on Thursday, the military destroyed the militia's training and command facility in the outskirts of Kismayu.

Last week, KDF and African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) captured Jana Cabdalla as they marched towards the port city of Kismayu.

The town, which was a transport corridor for the al-Shabaab, is 40km from Kismayu.

On the march to Kismayu, KDF had told residents to keep off areas in and around the city.

"We urge the residents of Kismayu to remain calm and stay away from al-Shabaab targets. Civilian safety and security is a top priority for KDF."

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